Officials: Latest Trafford water notification likely a result of bad monitoring data
Though the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority issued public notification last week that it “violated a treatment technique,” the water supply for customers in Trafford and 21 other communities wasn't contaminated, officials for the authority and Allegheny County Health Department said.
Mark Lerch, the authority's director of supply, attributed the May 27 notification on the authority's website to state regulations that require the authority to disclose a situation that involved potentially bad data from water monitoring in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 instead of a legitimate threat to water quality.
The data would appear to show that the authority put contaminants into the source water instead of removing them, leading authority officials to believe that some figures were “flip-flopped” between the testing and the lab analysis, Lerch said. Officials haven't been able to determine where the mistake in data happened, he said.
The notification states that there was no “immediate risk” to the water supply, so customers didn't have to boil water before drinking it.
“There's nothing wrong with the water,” Lerch said. “Nobody has to do anything.”
An official for the Allegheny County Health Department's public drinking-water division, which inspects and has oversight over the authority's system, confirmed that there were no health risks.
“I'm a customer of Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint, and I didn't run out and buy bottled water,” said John Jeffries, the division supervisor. “I drank faucet water.”
The notification was the authority's third public acknowledgement of a violation this year.
In mid-January, the authority announced that it failed to notify the state Department of Environmental Protection, Allegheny County Health Department or its 40,000 customers about the necessity for a boil-water notice during a 19-day period in November when the water supply did not meet disinfection standards. John Poister, DEP spokesman, said last week that a fine is pending in that instance.
In a report that the authority issued this month, officials also said they were two days late in January for taking quarterly samples for contaminants.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Township officials move to ban fracking ponds
- Sunoco mistakenly puts part of pipeline on Penn Township land
- Level Green VFD nears closing on Proskin rec center