U.S. Water News Online
CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- The city will be penalized $72,000
because its workers mistakenly hooked four homes up to treated
wastewater lines instead of drinking water lines.
One family used the substandard water, treated but meant for
irrigation, for more than three months before the mistake was
discovered last summer. Two other homes were hooked up for about a
month; the fourth was vacant.
Although the lines have been fixed, there are health concerns for
Cape Coral's wastewater is filtered and treated with chlorine, but
that doesn't eliminate parasites that can cause gastrointestinal
problems, health officials said.
The penalty is part of a tentative agreement between the city and
the Florida Department of Health that will be considered by the city
Instead of an actual fine, the city is required to improve its
installation and maintenance procedures and to send customers a
brochure about cross connections that can occur when homeowners or
plumbers work on their lines.
``It's a very small price to pay for public safety,'' Ron Kazel,
one of the homeowners, told the The New-Press of Fort Myers. ``It's
great to have safeguards in place. Accidents happen.''
At each home, workers failed to dig deep enough to expose the
identification tape that distinguishes the two water lines, a city
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