State regulators have fined a Havasu lake water company that failed to provide potable water to its customers for more than a month and accused it of letting its equipment collapse if it failed .
The California State Water Resources Control Board issued a $1,500 fine on Friday, May 6, after Havasu Water Company failed to meet state-imposed directives and deadlines. The state has given the water company a fresh list of instructions and deadlines to complete by May 20 or it could face additional penalties.
According to the latest compliance order, the state also plans to bill the water company in August for time spent on enforcement works.
The Havasu Water Company has 224 connections that serve a population of 361 in Lake Havasu along the Colorado River.
The water company has failed to comply with the directions of the March 29 compliance order to provide proof that it has a certified water treatment operator and a distribution system operator on staff.
On April 29, the water company provided the state water board’s logbook, which showed that its on-site operations manager was not a certified distribution or treatment operator as per the compliance order.
According to the compliance order, “the company has not made any mention of the employee till the logbook has been submitted.”
Despite the state turning its neck down and imposing strict deadlines, Havasu Water Company still fails to address several directives. According to the compliance order, “the company is not complying with the primary standards and treatment requirements.”
Additionally, the company has failed to provide the state with a corrective action plan that was due on April 29 and has relied on the San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services to provide bottled water to its customers. Boil water notice is maintained for the customers.
According to the latest compliance order, “the company must provide an alternative water supply to all customers independently of bottled water provided by the San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services if the company still has a boil water notice by May 10, 2022.” is on.”
On March 21, Havasu Water Company’s water supply was cut off when a pump failed following a Southern California Edison power outage. The company did not have operable backup generators to keep its old pump running, as state law requires.
It took nine days for the water supply to be restored, but only for showers and flushing of toilets. Water remains unfit for human consumption unless it is first boiled.
Residents claim that the company has neglected its water plant equipment for decades, leaving it in a state of disrepair.
In an email to a State Water Board engineer, former plant operator Theodora “Teddy” Goodgeum said, “The situation at the plant is just getting worse and worse,” and despite the rate increase, the company “didn’t put a penny”. “In your dilapidated pressure tank.
Court records show that Havasu Water CEO Jennifer Hodges, who has not responded to repeated requests for comment, has been fired in individual Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings since July 2021.
Patrick Webb, an attorney representing Havasu Water Company, did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.