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First water tests from Northern Erie County come back negative

The first round of test results around northern Erie County’s water-supply system came back negative for bacterial growth, the Erie County Department of Health announced Friday afternoon.

If the second round of tests also come back negative, the boil-water advisory would be lifted for around a quarter-million residents.

Samples taken Thursday from 11 sites were analyzed at the Erie County Public Health Laboratory.

As the second round of tests began Friday morning, a boil-water advisory remained in effect for almost 250,000 residents in the wake of Wednesday’s major water-main break in Amherst.

Results of the second round will be available Saturday afternoon, the health department said.

Two rounds of water tests 24 hours apart are required to determine whether the advisory may be lifted, a decision that will be made after both the authority and the Erie County Department of Health review test results.

Work to replace the broken section of the damaged water main is expected to be completed by the end of the day on Friday, said Sean Dwyer, spokesman for the water authority.

The cause of Wednesday’s break is still undetermined, Dwyer said.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Tops Markets said the supermarkets’ 10 stores in the affected area are “well stocked” and are not limiting how much water customers can buy.

Wegmans has brought in 16 tractor-trailers hauling 16,000 cases of bottled water over to its Buffalo stores in the last 24 hours, the company announced Friday morning.

Wednesday night’s major water-main break led to a “precautionary” boil-water advisory in Amherst, Clarence, Depew, Lancaster, Newstead and Williamsville. That will remain in effect at least until Saturday.

After the initial advisory was released, a section of Cheektowaga north of Broadway was added to the advisory zone, the authority tweeted just after 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Cheektowaga outside of the Village of Depew was not included as part of the area where the authority issued the boil-water advisory.

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said Thursday her town “should’ve been included in the notice.”

Sisters of Charity Hospital St. Joseph Campus continued to cancel or transfer elective surgeries on Friday as a precaution. No other services have been affected.

The break also has affected the water supply in western Genesee County. A boil-water advisory is in effect for the towns of Darien and Pembroke, as well as the Village of Corfu, according to the Monroe County Water Authority.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Thursday pledged to pursue federal funding for Erie County in the wake of the water-main break, which he said is needed to address “aging infrastructure.”

Amherst Meals on Wheels announced the agency will provide bottled water with its delivered meals on Friday. The organization delivers meals, which normally include milk or juice, to 220 homebound and disabled clients in Amherst and Williamsville.

Meanwhile, there was another much smaller water-main break in Amherst on Friday, which resulted in a portion of North Forest Road being closed for several hours.


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