Residents in Eagle subdivision get sick from drinking irrigation water

Eagle - The Center District Health Department has received 20-25 reports of Eagle residents getting sick from the water in the Corrente Bello Subdivision, the CDHD said it was likely a gastrointestinal illness.
Suez water and residents discovered that irrigation water from a nearby canal made it into several homes in the subdivision and that people in the neighborhood were drinking contaminated water.
My fifteen-year-old was sick, I was sick, two of my daughters were sick," said Karen Howell who has eight children. "I ran a bath for two-year-old and the water was brown."
This neighborhood uses potable water for drinking, but they also have non-potable water that residents can use to water their lawns or their gardens, each home has what is called a backflow that acts as a fail safe to prevent the irrigation water from mixing in with the drinking water in the homes.
Suez Water discovered one backflow in the neighborhood that got installed backward and said that was the cause of tainting the water in several Corrente Bello homes.
"Since 2012 we have had three similar cases and in every case, it was the result of an improperly installed device by an unlicensed individual," said Marshall Thompson the general manager for Suez.
Suez said they don't install the backflow devices, those are the homeowner's responsibility, however, Suez said it is important to get the backflow installed by a licensed company and to get it checked every year.
Residents did have their complaints about Suez during this whole process, mainly because one neighbor called the water company on July 14 after discovering brown water.
Suez said they responded with a technician who flushed the lines to that home, but they said they didn't find low levels of chlorine, a red flag for contaminated water because Suez uses chlorine to treat drinking water.
Suez called this an isolated incident and said it's not out of the ordinary to calls regarding brown water, the technician told the homeowner their water was safe.
Another neighbor called Suez back on July 18, this time around Suez did find low levels of chlorine and then discovered the improperly installed backflow device, then Suez flushed the system and collected samples to test the water.
"Overall we responded in a timely manner," said Thompson. "Unfortunately the water quality testing to verify the water sample takes two days to process."
On July 20 Suez alerted the residents that their water was safe, but they issued a boil advisory to let residents know that the water inside their homes was likely still contaminated.
Suez said the residents needed to flush their plumbing system, turn their water heater to the highest setting, boil any water they were using in the home until the system was flushed and replace all their water filters.
"We are out one hundred dollars in filters," said Howell who was about to take her fifteen-year-old to the hospital. "I know people who have medical bills that they have to pay and nobody says they are responsible for this, it is getting passed on to us."
Howell also had complaints because she wanted to know what kind of bacteria her family was drinking, Suez did not test the contaminated water until after they flushed the lines.
We asked Suez who the homeowner was that had the backflow device that caused the problem, they told us they would not give out that information in an effort to protect their customers.

Pink fertilizer on tap for 30 homes

THE fruit business Haygrove Ltd, which is based in Ledbury, has been successfully prosecuted by Severn Trent after its fruit farm on Newent turned tap water pink, due to fertilizer contamination.
In total, 30 homes and a caravan park were affected.
The business faced two charges at Hereford Magistrates Court on December 18, and Haygrove pleaded guilty to both after Severn Trent found that its farm in Newent, was the source of the contaminated water, last June.
The problem was caused by a cross connection, where the main water pipe and the farm’s private pipes were connected incorrectly.
Haygrove Ltd was ordered to pay £6,317.78, including costs.
Severn Trent was also paid compensation for the costs relating to the incident.
The additional amount ordered totalled £5,390.06, meaning a total £11,707.84 is payable by the fruit farm.
Dan Littlewood, water fittings expert at Severn Trent, said: “We hope this case goes to show just how important it is for companies and individuals to comply with water regulations, as it’s so important to ensure public health and that our customers’ water supplies remain unaffected.
“Thanks to the expertise and quick work of our teams, we were able to identify what was causing customers to have pink water, and work to get it back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Severn Trent was awarded compensation as a reimbursement for the money and time spent in initially responding to, and then dealing with, the contamination.
The contamination from the fruit farm saw around 30 homes and a caravan park have pink water after the water supply was contaminated with pink fertilizer used at the farm.
Mr Littlewood added: "It’s vital that companies and individuals understand that if they want to change their private pipework that’s connected to our network, that it’s a legal obligation to notify our Water Fittings Department. By doing that, we can be sure the connections are safe, and the pipework is not in breach of any regulations.”
Article by Gary Bills-Geddes

Bodily Contact With Tap Water Banned In California City

By: Sara Jerome

Residents of Alameda, a city near San Francisco, were warned not to make any bodily contact with their tap water at one point this month as a result of a water quality problems.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District said problems at its Alameda Point drinking water system were likely caused by the “cross-connection” of an irrigation pipe with a drinking water pipe, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The health advisory impacted “267 homes, and more than 60 businesses in the Alameda Point neighborhood,” ABC7 News reported.
The city lifted the bodily contact order before it lifted a simultaneous drinking order, according to an official statement. The ban on drinking water has since been lifted, as well.  
“It’s not clear when — or how — the cross-connection occurred or what specifically was detected that triggered the warning. Residents were advised not to drink water from faucets or use tap water to brush their teeth, wash dishes, bathe, cook or give to their pets,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
Details on how the city reassured state regulators that bodily contact was again safe:
Throughout the day, the City of Alameda and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) removed the source of non-potable/drinking water at Alameda Point, which was attributable to an existing irrigation well, flushed the system with EBMUD water, and then tested the water to confirm the non-potable water was flushed.
An official statement said these actions prompted the State Water Resources Control to lift the bodily contact ban.
Residents had noticed that the water smelled and tasted strange.
"It had a really foul taste," says Diana Hurwitz, an Alameda Point resident, per ABC7 News. "It was clear, it didn't have any clouds in it, but it tasted really bad."

Alameda neighborhood may not be able to drink tap water for one week

ALAMEDA (KRON) — For the second night in a row, the City of Alameda was urging people living in the Alameda Point community to not drink or use the tap water.
This after the East Bay Municipal Utility District says it found traces of non-drinking water in the drinking water.
Community needs: The City of Alameda has made 10 portable showers available for affected residents. Two of these showers are ADA compliant. Showers are located at the Alameda Fire Department Training Facility at 431 Stardust Place in the parking lot.
For those wishing to contribute to affected residents, they are in need of baby wipes, disposable diapers, and hand sanitizer. These items can be dropped off at the Alameda Point Collaborative, 677 W. Ranger Avenue, and will be distributed by volunteers. The Red Cross is providing bottled water and paper goods.
Do-Not-Drink Water Alert Remains in Place: While water quality continues to improve at Alameda Point, people should refrain from drinking or using tap water for cooking or bathing at Alameda Point, and avoid bodily contact. Water can be used for toilet flushing.
This water quality alert will not be lifted until the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water deems the water safe for drinking and bodily contact.
No immediate health threat has been found. If people have health concerns, they should talk to their doctor.
Additional information
Please call our water alert hotline at (510) 747-7460 for additional information. The hotline has received over 100 calls today from concerned community members.
Who is affected by this alert?
The water quality issues are isolated to Alameda Point due to the nature of the non-EBMUD infrastructure. 268 residents and over 60 businesses are affected and each has been notified. This only affects areas west of Main Street. Areas that are not affected include Coast Guard Housing, Bayport, Summer House Apartments, and Atlantic Apartments. The map below outlines the Alameda Point area in red:
What happened?
While field investigations are ongoing, it is likely that the source of the water quality issue is related to a cross-connection between a potable drinking water line and a non-potable irrigation line. Tests were taken at specific locations Tuesday night and we hope to have preliminary results of those tests by Thursday morning. Further testing is being done today, and those results will be available by the end of the week.

Link to full story by Philippe Djegal can be found here.

McAllen Showcases Procedures Used to Prevent Water Contamination

McAllen Showcases Procedures Used to Prevent Water Contamination: McAllen Public Utility provides water to more than 120,000 customers.

6 Investigates: The Weak Link in Our Water Supply | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi Most us began Thursday morning with news of yet another water supply problem.  By lunch time, we knew why: Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions, Inc. on Up River Road does not have a backflow preventer. Or, the one they do have, failed. And so, city officials tell us a couple of chemicals - one of them, hydrochloric acid -  got into our water supply.

Possible cause for brain-eating ameoba contamination

STERLINGTON, La (KNOE 8 News) - Community concern runs high as water treatment continues tonight for a brain eating amoeba found in a local water system.

 Severn Trent is the consulting firm in charge of the water in the affected areas. Project Manager Jason Moss says they are doing what they can to treat the water and investigate the cause.

 "One of the concerns that we have that could be a potential source of the amoeba is what is called a cross connection where a customer tied his home water to supply to the irrigation water supply," Moss explained....

Click to view the article.