On Aug. 15, the Town of Paonia sent a mailing to all of its water customers, informing them that state reporting requirements during calendar years 2016 and 2017 were not met in violation of state law.
The letter states that the town violated five different reporting requirements. Filing of reports was missed "by a few days," said town administrator Ken Knight. The letter states that all five violations have either been resolved or are being resolved, that no actions by water users are needed, and that the town's drinking water continued to be safe for consumption.
Knight said none of the violations posed a danger to the health of the citizens, and the town will not be fined for any of the violations. He called the oversights "unfortunate." With staff handling numerous priorities in 2017, "This was overlooked."
Violations (and their status) include:
• failure to file a timely report on chlorine test results to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment drinking water program by the 5/15/2017 deadline (resolved);
• failure to test the required percentage of backflow prevention devices to the state drinking water program (anticipated resolution date: 9/30/2018);
• failure to provide consumer with lead tap sample test results (resolved; results sent to homeowners);
• failure to meet monitoring requirements for lead/copper in the first half of 2016 (resolved); and
• failure to keep and report timely records of turbidity readings to the state (resolved).
In resolving requirements related to backflow prevention devices by Sept. 30, in February the town board of trustees adopted a resolution establishing "cross connection and backflow prevention" rules and regulations for businesses and multi-family units serviced by the water department to address the state's "Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Rule Implementation Policy" (see Feb. 7, 2018, DCI article 'Mandate could hit Paonia businesses in pocketbook').
Resolution includes conducting a survey to identify those at-risk connections. The survey, said Knight, "was not put on the priority list. The survey is now out."
Regarding testing results for lead and copper, all results have been sent to homeowners, said Knight. The last two known water mains on the system that contain lead solder are located in the 100 blocks of Dorris and Clark avenues. Replacement of the Dorris water main is in progress. Upon completion, work will begin on replacing the main on Clark Avenue.
Knight said there may still be some older homes with pipes containing lead solder running from the meter to the house connection. Property owners with concerns "probably need to have a plumber inspect the line," said Knight.
The town's calendar year 2017 Drinking Water Quality Report is available at Town Hall, by calling 970-527-4101, or at townofpaonia.com under the "News" tab.
Another issue facing the town: the potable water dispenser located at 401 Second Street, has been inoperable for several weeks after a customer attempted to drive away with the hose still in their storage tank. Parts have been ordered and were expected to arrive last week, said Knight.