By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Montgomery County officials say more than 150 eating establishments have closed their doors because of water issues affecting customers in six municipalities, while a local state lawmaker says public hearings will be held to get to the bottom of the problem once everything is cleared up.

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Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Vereb says the head of the state House Consumer Protection Committee has agreed to hold a hearing in this area to question officials from Pennsylvania American Water Co. about where the failures occurred.

The company says recent heavy rains churned up more sediment in the Schuylkill River, creating problems. Vereb calls the hearing a fact-finding mission, not a witch hunt.

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“Every water company in our region pulls from the same river, dealing with the same sediment issues from the same storms,” Vereb notes.  “My big question is, why did you fail?  Why did your systems fail?  Why are you having the problem?”

A “boil water” advisory for more than 18,000 customers remains in effect (see previous story).  The company says it needs two straight days of clean tests before the advisory can be lifted, which they are hoping to be able to do late Friday.

Thursday afternoon, Pennsylvania American Water said the results of the first day of testing have come back and they show no signs of bacteria in the water. A second set of samples was collected Thursday and those results will be back sometime Friday.

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