Illinois American Water will deploy a new high-speed notification system, Code Red, to quickly alert customers when large water emergencies occur and direct door-to-door notification is not possible.
Code Red replaces the previous customer call system used by American Water. The system allows residents to be contacted via phone, text and email, depending on their personal preferences.
The company implemented Code Red to rapidly contact large numbers of customers about emergency situations when direct door-to-door notification is not possible. Emergency situations can include boil water orders, large main breaks, water conservation requirements and other major events affecting water service. The system can also be used for non-urgent notification, such as planned service outages, local hydrant flushing, low-pressure events and major traffic impacts. When Code Red is used, customers in the affected area will be directed to the company’s website at www.illinoisamwater.com for more information.
“Our customer base is diverse, and with this new system, each customer can determine how he or she would prefer to receive emergency alerts and non-urgent notifications when door to door notification is not possible,” said Bruce Hauk, president for Illinois American Water. “The Code Red network is also very robust, meaning we can quickly contact hundreds, and even thousands of customers, once the notification is launched.”
To take full advantage of the new system, customers are encouraged to log on to the company’s web self-service portal called “My H2O Online” (www.amwater.com/myh2o) to enter their contact information and preferences by following these steps:
- Click the Service Address link.
- Click the My Web Account button.
- Click the Change button beside the Contact Information and Alerts section to make your selections. You can enter up to three phone/cell numbers and three email addresses.
Customers who do not have Internet access can contact Illinois American Water’s customer service center at (800) 422-2782 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to update their contact information.
Emergency alerts will be sent by Code Red to affected customers’ phone numbers and email addresses that are on record. Customers will be sent non-urgent notifications only if they opt in to receive them. Standard text, data and phone rates may apply.
The My H2O Online self-service portal enables customers to access their account, check water usage, pay bills online and sign up for paperless billing. Customers who are not enrolled in My H2O Online can register by visiting www.amwater.com/myh2o. After filling out the registration form and submitting it, customers will receive email confirmation from My H20 Online. Click the link provided within the email to confirm and active your registration.
The new system also offers the Code Red Mobile Alert app that communicates alerts based on location. The free app sends location-specific notifications to the user’s smartphone. Those who sign up will receive Illinois American Water alerts, along with other public safety information sent by organizations using Code Red.
Hauk said because Code Red only can contact customers who have an Illinois American Water account, landlords are urged to pass along alerts and notifications to their tenants. The tenants can also download the Code Red Mobile Alert app at www.ecnetwork.com/coderedmobilealert.