A water utility company could be penalized for how it handled an August E. coli scare in the San Tan Valley.
Seven violations allegedly committed by Johnson Utilities are on file with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Three accuse the company of failing to activate standard emergency notification plans for the Aug. 16 outbreak.
The 22-page document outlines a time frame for when the utility learned of the outbreak to when the public was told. While the utility learned of the issue on Aug. 16, schools weren’t informed until Aug. 21 and the first public notice was posted to a website until Aug. 22.
“The notice that they provided to the school district, that was not part of their emergency operations plan,” said Mindi Cross with the AZDEQ. “They also issued a press release to the news media, however, they didn’t issue an actual public notice.”
Cross also said the company did not provide consumers with a way to contact them.
Johnson Utilities has 30 days to respond to the allegations before the DEQ could issue monetary penalties that could reach into the tens-of-thousands of dollars.
The company released the following statement on Wednesday. It has not been altered in any way.
As our valued customers no doubt recall, in August we issued a boil water advisory after receiving laboratory reports-later determined to be erroneous-suggesting the presence of drinking water contaminants in our system.
We received today from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality a notice of alleged violations related to that incident. The notice is the first step in the agency’s process of evaluating whether Johnson Utilities ran afoul of any regulatory requirements while it was dealing with this false alarm. Johnson Utilities worked closely with ADEQ on the approval of the proper notification and notified our customers through a variety of newspapers, television and radio stations, print media, and the web in the timeframe required by the agency.
We are confident that after we further explain the course of events to ADEQ, the agency will agree that no sanctions are appropriate. We will be meeting with ADEQ soon to do precisely that.
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain