Incidents include November 17th boil water advisory and more
NEW ORLEANS - Council Vice President Helena Moreno has issued the following statement in light of recent failures of the Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) and Entergy New Orleans (ENO):
"Among its many duties, the S&WB has the great responsibility of keeping our water clean and safe to drink. And we should begin by reminding everyone we know there are so many great employees who work tirelessly to keep this system going.
However, we learned this morning that at least two mission-critical employees 'bailed' during the water boil crises predicated by a power failure this past November. That can never happen. Individuals working in this capacity can never abandon their post or fail to perform because the consequences are too great. If they do, they should face the most severe consequences available. Unsafe drinking water can sicken whole communities, and it especially impacts our most vulnerable citizens.
We must remember that S&WB performs a critical public safety function and we must ensure that no person or protocol becomes the "weakest link" that leads to system failure. The failure of two individuals to perform their duty exacerbated this situation unnecessarily. We need to hold S&WB accountable for the great responsibility they bear.
Moreover, today's hearing underscored the desperate need for better collaboration and understanding between ENO and its biggest commercial customer in Orleans Parish, the S&WB. ENO's lack of immediate notification of S&WB of a system problem is hard to believe. It seems obvious that ENO and S&WB must have constant and high-level linkage to ensure that among utilities, the right hand always knows what the left hand is doing. Going forward, we expect nothing less."
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno