In response to a Plain Dealer request on Friday, Joe Loughmiller, external affairs manager, stated Indiana American Water would be placing a moratorium and discontinuing service shut-offs at this time.

“We will continue to evaluate this moratorium as more information becomes available,” he stated. “Additionally, Indiana American Water will begin the restoration of service to previously shut-off customers. The restoration may take some time, but we will work as quickly and safely as possible. If your service has been turned off, before March 12, we will restart your service. Indiana American Water has been focused on two high priorities as the spread of the coronavirus has evolved – the health and safety of our employees and the health and safety of our customers. As such, Indiana American Water will also be suspending all non-essential field appointments and will limit the amount and nature of contact with customers during all emergency field appointments.”

Loughmiller stated this was the first time he was aware of they had ever taken this action.

“Maybe in an isolated circumstance of very cold weather, but would have to research that,” he stated. “The number of people currently shutoff in Wabash is fairly small – probably less than 10. We do not have a date certain right now to end the practice, but will continue to monitor and assess the coronavirus situation.”

Loughmiller stated they have taken precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through their water.

“You need to know that Indiana American Water’s drinking water treatment barriers provide protection that includes filtration and disinfection of our surface water supplies (e.g., those from lakes, reservoirs, or rivers) and disinfection of our groundwater sources (e.g., underground wells). These treatments are effective in removing and/or inactivating viruses. Our water meets all current federal and state drinking water requirements,” he stated. “To minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have initiated our business continuity plans to help provide additional stability to our operations that include water/wastewater services to your homes and businesses. Indiana American Water continues to monitor situational updates provided by the Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization as well as other state and federal organizations. We are continuously evaluating the situation and latest developments to determine how we can adopt and amend measures, as necessary, to support our customers and communities we serve and our employees.”

Rob Burgess, Wabash Plain Dealer editor, may be reached by email at rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com.