Up The Creek - July 2005

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            Up The Creek thanks you all for your mental weather-modification efforts. As a result of relatively cool weather in early June, the runoff was manageable, and we did not incur any appreciable damage to our creek intake. Well done.

            This is the time of year for the Federal and State mandated CCR- Consumer Confidence Report. All public water systems are required to supply their users with a summary of the contaminants which were detected in their water supply during the previous year. By law, systems supplying fewer than 10,000 people may forego direct mailing of the CCR, and publish in a newspaper instead. That is what we have chosen to do. The report appears in the June 28 edition of the Mountain Valley News. The report is also available at our office, along with any additional water quality data we have, and is available online at www.uscdwua.com. This is our newly revamped web site, which has been under reconstruction. To get the report, follow the link “Forms and Documents.” The report will be stored as a .PDF file, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

            This year’s CCR covers testing that was done in 2004. During that time, our tests focused on our source water, because treated water was still being furnished by the Town of Cedaredge. So, in addition to our report, the Town’s report also applies to our users. Please contact our office for information regarding the Town of Cedaredge CCR.

            The content of the CCR is very specifically described in the regulations. The format, however, can be left up to the water system. This year, we opted to stay with the draft format that was provided to us by the State. It is quite likely that we can streamline and customize the report to suit our system in the future.

            Unfortunately, this year’s CCR includes a report of a violation incurred by USCDWUA. We were required in the third quarter of 2004 to monitor for lead and copper contamination in our water. We did not do that, due to a misunderstanding of certain information that was exchanged verbally with state officials. A full account of the violation is published with the CCR. The short version is that we did not monitor for lead and copper in 2004, because we knew that our water source was going to change, and that it would make more sense to begin monitoring the water from our new plant as soon as it came on line. We requested and were granted a (verbal) OK to begin monitoring in 2005, which we did. But the 2004 monitoring requirement apparently did not go away. And so, we were in violation. There does not seem to be much point in attempting a “But you said...” argument, and so we are following through with the required action of reporting the violation to you, and vowing to do better in the future.

            We do not anticipate any fines or other discipline resulting from this failure. We have conducted the initial round of lead and copper monitoring, and will soon commence another one for the second half of 2005. So far, the test results do not indicate a problem with lead or copper contamination in our water system. Those of you who participated in the first round of testing will be getting your sample bottles again in a month or so. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

            We want to assure all the readers of this letter that we take seriously our duty to comply with state and federal drinking water regulations. It would be easy to dismiss them as bureaucratic excesses, and to complain about the cost, the workload, etc. But we are pretty sure that behind each regulated contaminant, each required procedure, each monitoring plan, is a story of illness or death resulting from careless operation of a water system somewhere. We don’t want that to happen here.                                                  dh

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