Johnson Utilities faces allegations from ADEQ after E. coli scare

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by Steve Ryan

azfamily.com

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 3:25 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A utility company based in Scottsdale is facing allegations from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, stemming from an E. coli scare in its water in San Tan Valley.

In a new report, ADEQ accuses Johnson Utilities of not properly notifying and updating people about the e-coli concerns. 

State investigators said the company also didn't properly maintain several of its production, treatment, and distribution facilities.

"A drinking water facility that is in violation of state statutes could face civil administration penalties," said Mindi Cross with ADEQ.

That could be up to $500 a day in fines, with no cap, if the case transitions from civil to the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

Johnson Utilities officials said the E. coli readings were the result of a false positive. In a statement issued to 3TV on Wednesday, company officials wrote, "Johnson worked closely with ADEQ on the approval of proper notifications, and is confident that after meeting soon, the state will agree that sanctions are not warranted."

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