News

Nov
27
posted on November 27, 2019

City of Morenci Violations from the

Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

 

Background

 

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);

 

  • Immediately 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 results mean.

 

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.