Johnson Utilities: There never was any E. coli in our water

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- There's no need to boil your water in San Tan Valley anymore.

But Karen Bennett's blood is still boiling, because she wasn't notified about a possible water contamination.

“There should have been some sort of emergency contingency by a utility company to let us know,” Bennett said.

Even though Johnson Utilities notified the Florence Unified School District about a possible water problem on Aug. 21, many people said they got left out because they didn't have kids.

For the first time, Barbara Johnson, a spokeswoman with the water company, is speaking to 3TV.

“A lot of our people out there, residents, do not have computers or do not have emails," Johnson said. "The best way we finally determined to notify people was the school districts and website."

The water company services 83,000 people and 30,000 homes. Johnson said that is too many people to go door to door and notify them about a possible problem.

Many people also wanted to know why they weren't notified about an E. coli scare on Aug. 18.

That's the day the company notified the state about a possible problem. 

“Our water system has never had a positive test like this before," Johnson said. "We felt it was the result of contamination at the sampling site or lab, which has now proven true."

She admits the water initially tested positive for a possible presence of bacteria.

She said the water was re-tested and came back negative.

Johnson suspects the contamination happened in the lab, not in their water system.

“There never was any E. coli, never ever,” Johnson said.

The water company is now looking to add Robo Call technology to better reach their customers in the future.

A spokesperson from the state’s Environmental Equality Department said the water company followed the proper procedures.

To read Johnson Utilities' statement regarding the test that found their water to not be contaminated click here.