New details about San Tan Valley water contaminated with bacteria

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- Angel Meredith is spreading the word, warning her neighbor's about their drinking water in San Tan Valley.

Approximately 50,000 people and 20,000 homes are affected.

Meredith’s already taking precautions, seeing a doctor.

"He is treating me for E. coli and all the forms of E. coli and bacteria just to be on the safe side and sending me for tests," said Meredith.

Johnson Utilities and a spokesperson with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) confirmed there's a problem with the water..

"It was confirmed that E. coli was present in the water system from samples that were collected from the 16th of this month," said John Calkins, a manger with ADEQ.

Johnson Utilities started testing for bacteria on August 16th.

But it wasn't until Tuesday that parents found out about E. coli in a letter sent home with their kids.

"I'm concerned that Johnson Utilities didn't let us know," said Meredith.

A utility company spokesperson was not speaking to the media on camera.

When asked why the water company didn’t send out a mass email the day the company started testing, Calkins answered, "Well, it wasn't confirmed until the 21st that's when the water system triggered that there was an acute health threat and that's what started the time clock for notification, the 24 hour time clock for notification."

A notice went out to the media Wednesday.

The water company was hoping word of mouth would help spread the information.

Johnson Utilities brought water to the local schools Wednesday morning.

Calkins said there could be a number of ways a contaminate was introduced into the system.

The state is now investigating.

3TV learned Johnson Utilities has had several violations from the state.

The last violation was in 2008.

Here's a copy of the statement sent from Johnson Utilities to 3TV: