New York City should create a special map to let residents know where there are planned or surprise water outages, according to a bill introduced Thursday in the City Council.

This bill will require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to create a map depicting exactly where the water outages are occurring and an approximate time of when they will end. All notifications will be posted on the DEP and city’s website.

Previous to the introduction of this Intro. 1156 bill, the DEP’s main method of informing the public was by posting flyers. Unfortunately, due to external circumstances, flyers would often be blown away or damaged, and residents would not receive these notifications.

According to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, the bill was brought about in response to complaints from residents who felt that they were left in the dark when these outages occurred.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” Van Bramer said. “It’s not difficult or complicated for DEP to provide this data to New York City residents, but it’s incredibly frustrating to turn on the tap, have no water come out, and not be able to find any more information.”

Deputy Leader James Vacca, who also sponsored the bill, feels that it is more than necessary: In the case of planned outages, it’s a no-brainer to have this information online and available ahead of time. In the case of unplanned outages, it’s critical that status updates be made available as quickly as possible.”

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