Mar 27, 2020

Idaho DEQ Sues Owner of Small Domestic Water System

Idaho DEQ has sued the owner of small domestic water system for failure to comply with state drinking water regulations.

drinking water

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is suing the owner of a small domestic water system in Nez Perce County for failure to comply with state drinking water regulations.

The state filed the legal action against Michael Bedard and his company, Red Rock Water LLC, which serves 60 residents through 27 connections, according to Michael Camin, the water quality engineering manager for DEQ’s Lewiston office.

“Red Rock Water LLC was out of compliance with drinking water regulations and entered into a Consent Order with DEQ in August 2019 to resolve those issues,” Camin wrote in an email to the Lewiston Tribune. “Progress has stalled and the drinking water system remains out of compliance.”

The lawsuit intends to get Red Rock Water back into compliance with drinking water regulations and ensure that the drinking water produced by the system is safe for consumption. In a notification issued in late January, DEQ issued a voluntary boil order because of coliform bacterial contamination, according to Lewiston Morning Tribune.

“Total coliform bacteria is not necessarily a public health threat, but is an indicator of bacterial contamination in the water system,” said the notice.

DEQ issued the advisory after it conducted bacteria and disinfection monitoring in January, when the system’s chlorinator was not functioning. Red Rock Water conducted routine monitoring and provided chlorine information after the fact that allowed the agency to issue a follow-up order rescinding the boil order.

The consent order Bedard signed in August included requirements for design and construction, submitting administrative documents, monitoring water quality and providing public notification. 

The DEQ alleges that Red Rock Water violated the terms of that order.

The consent order requirements include: the design and construction of a reliable electrical system because of past failures; a sample site plan for coliform bacteria monitoring; the monitoring of several other contaminants; and public notification to inform consumers of both the quality of their water and how the system is operating.

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