City of Morenci
Violations from the
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)
On November 13, 2019, the City of Morenci was
notified by EGLE that its water operator’s license (individual licensed to
manage the water system for the City of Morenci) had lapsed on July 15, 2018
and failed to renew his license. EGLE informed the City of Morenci that this
was found during a periodic review of its records and that due to this the City
of Morenci was in violation for not having a licensed water operator. The City
of Morenci would then need to find a licensed water operator to operate its
water treatment and distribution system.
The notice to renew a water operator’s license
is sent to the individual water licensee and not the system that the water
operator manages. Therefore, no notice was provided to the City of Morenci that
the water operator’s license had lapsed until now. A notice is then required to
be sent out by the water supply (City of Morenci) informing its customers that
the water system was not in compliance with Michigan drinking water rules.
It should also be noted that EGLE informed the
City of Morenci that two (2) water monitoring samples had not been taken that
were due on September 30, 2019. Those samples – trihalomethanes (TTHM),
haloacetic acids (five) (HAA5), and nitrate – are required to be sampled at the
earliest possible time. Notices are being sent out to inform you of these
violations, as well.
What is being done?
The City of Morenci was made aware of the
issue with its water operator on November 13, 2019 by EGLE. After being made
aware, the City of Morenci City Council met and is concerned about the
violation from EGLE. In order to come back into compliance, the Morenci City
Council has decided to do the following:
- Contract with the
Michigan Rural Water Association (MRWA) for a licensed water system
operator immediately (occurred on November 20, 2019);
direct two (2) employees of the Department of Public Works (DPW) to go
through the state licensing process to become water system operators with
the City of Morenci paying for the cost of schooling, training, and testing
for such to occur (subcontracting options for a water operator will be
assessed, as well); and
- Pay for a full
chemistry study of the City of Morenci’s drinking water to be performed
immediately to ensure quality and safety standards are being held up to
the highest standard – those results will then be mailed to you once the
City of Morenci has received them, along with a description of what the
It should also be noted that three (3) water
samples were missed that were due to EGLE on September 30, 2019. One of these
samples – nitrate – is required to be taken by December 31, 2019 and will be
immediately taken. Those results will be communicated to you when the full
chemistry study of the City of Morenci’s water is communicated to you.
The City of Morenci is very disappointed that
this violation occurred, and are committed to becoming fully compliant with the
State of Michigan. It should be noted that the operator certification that
expired on July 15, 2018 was held by an employee who was fully licensed for
over 20 years who simply did not renew the license.
Copies of the violations may be downloaded below.