DPU sends out water notice detailing administrative violation

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By John Severance


The Los Alamos Department of Utilities sent out a notice to all its customers this week, saying it failed to report its monthly disinfectant residuals to the New Mexico Environment Department/Drinking Water Bureau in a timely fashion.

The deadline for the report was April 10 and the compliance data was not received until April 23.

The notice assured its customers that the quality of water was not compromised and it was “a failure to meet an administrative requirement.”

DPU head John Arrowsmith said the delay was because of “human error.

“We had the data and we send it to them monthly but they recently imposed a quarterly report for the first time and it didn’t get done.”

Arrowsmith said DPU did not get fined, but it did have to spend $3,500 to mail out 10,500 cards to all its customers, detailing what happened.

The notice also indicated to customers that “there is nothing you need to do.”

“We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis,” the notice read. “Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking water meets health standards. Additionally, we are required to submit monitoring data to the state for various water standards.”

Arrowsmith said since DPU has  taken over the water system from the lab (in 1998) we have never had a water quality standard testing violation in the system. He said there have been times when his crews have gone out to residences and took samples from taps and they have found some elevated levels.  “But that had to do with their plumbing rather from our water system,” Arrowsmith said. “We have never had a violation.” 

The notice also indicated that for more information to contact G. Pete Padilla/Environmental Compliance Specialist at 505 662-8472.