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EPA orders Bridle Trails South Water System to hire a certified operator

Release Date: 11/15/2005
Contact Information: Vaughn Blethen
(206) 553-0483

November 15, 2005

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered the Bridle Trails South Water System of King County, Washington to hire a certified operator within 60 days or pay fines that could reach $32,500 per day.

According to EPA officials, the Bridle Trails South Water System, which is a community owned and operated water system, has repeatedly failed to hire a certified operator to run the water system as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. It has also failed to test the water for lead, copper and nitrates or inform its customers about the quality of their water.

"The users of this system should be aware that, with no certified operator in charge to do required monitoring, there is no way to know if the water is safe to drink," said Vaughn Blethen, EPA's Region 10 Drinking Water Unit, Office of Water and Watersheds.

Bridle Trails South Water System is a community public water system located west of Ravensdale in southeast King County that serves about 42 users.

The system has a 13-year history of failure to comply with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. It was referred to EPA for formal enforcement after state officials had exhausted all available remedies to bring the system into compliance, including twice attempting to collect penalties of $6,480 for continued failure to comply with a state order.

Exposure to lead in drinking water may cause delays in physical or mental development of infants and children, and kidney problems and high blood pressure in adults. Nitrates can make infants seriously ill or cause death. High levels of copper can create gastrointestinal distress, and eventual liver or kidney damage.

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