Cedar Hills Residents Get Giardia Parasite from Dirty Water Supply

CEDAR HILLS — Think about how many times you used water today to brush your teeth, shower, cook or wash your hands. You count on water from your tap to keep you clean and healthy, but what if it was doing just the opposite

"Other neighbors had been sick for a couple of weeks, but we all just kept it to ourselves thinking it was a bug or the flu or something," said Cedar Hills resident Mary Moore.

Since early July, neighbors in a Cedar Hills neighborhood were getting sick. In September, symptoms got worse. Several people have been diagnosed with giardia since then, but what was causing it and why was it was spreading was not clear

The only common factor among the 13 affected houses was dirty yellow water.

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Boise Residents Sickened by Bad Water

As many as 80 residents of a west Boise neighborhood got sick over Memorial Day weekend. Turns out a nasty bacteria got into the drinking water. Boise’s United Water says it did everything in its power to fix the problem, but some in the neighborhood say the company could have done more.

At an empty house in the Hobble Creek neighborhood a device called a backflow preventer failed to keep irrigation water out of the drinking water system...

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(MP3 podcast of story available from Boise State Public Radio after the link)

Strongsville Residents Complain About Water Department Backflow Valve Inspection Fee

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - The Cleveland Division of Water is more vigorously enforcing annual backflow valve inspections for newer homes that have lawn sprinkling systems, but some Strongsville residents claim enforcement is unfair.

A relatively new law requires residents to hire a state-certified plumber to check a home's backflow valve in an effort to prevent home water supply contamination.

But some residents living in Strongsville's Pine Lake's Crossing subdivision said enforcement of the inspections is piecemeal and random.

"Supposedly 85 percent of the residents in this development have sprinkling systems, but for some reason we're the only ones on this street who have to do the test," said resident Rob Williams.

Williams told NewsChannel5 his home and 10 other have been required to hire a plumber for backflow valve inspections, at a cost of $50 for the past three years. Williams said there are other newer homes in his subdivision that have not been ordered to make the annual inspections.

Residents said they called the Cleveland Division of Water for an explanation on the inspection enforcement process, but claim they couldn't get a straight answer.

"I'm really upset, and all my neighbors are wearing the same shoe," said resident John Covic. "Making us pay this money is unfair."

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More Backflow Concerns: Apr-2012

Please click on image(s) below to zoom in / view larger size:

BF on bypass or is it the main feed?

Home made bidet

Air gap?

Bed pan washer with chemical injector - constant pressure

Horse troth with no backflow preventer

Water Quality Investigation in Queensland, AU

Backflow / Water Quality Concerns

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KDKA Ch. 2 News - Backflow Problems

Backflow Preventer Full Dump

Be careful... if your backflow preventer goes into a full dump (watch video).

How Clean is Your Drinking Water?

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - How do you know your drinking water is safe? If you have a sprinkler system at your house, officials at DHEC say you could be at risk for cross contamination if you are missing a crucial part called a backflow preventer.

John Watkins runs the Backflow Prevention Program at DHEC. "A backflow preventer is key to keeping your drinking water safe. If your water company experienced a drop in pressure like a fire or a watermain break, it is possible that water from your sprinkler system could be pulled back into your house and into your drinking water."

News19 anchor Andrea Mock discovered her own home was missing a backflow preventer after brown water ran through her tap this summer. When DHEC came to test her water, they did find a slightly elevated level of two to four, D, a common herbicide.

Mock said, "As soon as I found out we didn't have this part, I called DHEC because I wanted to see what we had been drinking. And that test would only show what was in the water on that particular day. There's no telling what we might have consumed over the past five years. Without this part, anything we put on our grass had the potential to come into our water."

A backflow preventer costs about $100, and DHEC recommends that anyone with an irrigation system have the part installed to protect their water.

Sprinklers aren't the only chance for cross contamination; a hose can pose the same risk. "If you throw your hose into a pool or even add a can of fertilizer to the end of the hose, and once again, there happens to be a loss of pressure in your system, that water from the hose can get pulled back into your drinking water," Watkins said.

Correcting that problem is simple as well. A backflow preventer for your hose costs about ten dollars.
DHEC recommends checking with your irrigation specialist to make sure you have this piece properly installed in your yard. It's also a good idea to always run your water for five to ten seconds before you use it after it's been sitting for several hours.

Illinois EPA sues Markham over alleged drinking water violations

January 6, 2012 (MARKHAM, Ill.) — The state is suing the City of Markham for alleged environmental safety violations regarding the city's water supply.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan claims Markham violated the state's Environmental Protection Act by not having a backflow contamination control in its water supply system for at least six months, according to a complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The complaint claims Markham operates a public water supply with about 4,500 connections that service 12,000 residents. The primary source of water is obtained from Lake Michigan through the Midmark Water Commission's main pumping station.

The pumping station receives lake water into a reservoir and four pumps send then send chlorinated water to Markham's supply system, according to the complaint. A one-inch water line is used to supply water to a cooling system, and coolant within the generator is then re-circulated at a higher pressure, the complaint said.

An Illinois EPA inspector noticed on Oct. 26, 2010, that there wasn't a proper backflow prevention device and a leak in the coolant line or a crack in the radiator within the generator could contaminate the water system with coolant, the complaint said.

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