Antonito water system in non-compliance

The water treatment process
The water treatment process

From the Valley Courier (Jesse Medina):

Town residents are concerned over a number of water violations that the town of Antonito has incurred within the past few months. The topic was put forth to the Antonito town board at their monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 12. The state is imposing penalties on the town for using Town Administrator Rossi Duran to operate their water systems without a license. Duran has been operating without a license since August , and the town’s waste and distribution licenses expired in 2012. The town has failed to comply with having a certified operator responsible in charge requirement to operate the Antonito water distribution facility. According to state law, every facility, domestic or industrial, that manages wastewater, water collection systems and distribution systems must be supervised by a certified operator. The town was required to submit proof of having a licensed operator by October 30.

Duran had received a letter from the State Department of Public Health and Environment Water Quality Control Division stating the town is in violation of Colorado Primary Drinking Water regulations and could receive a $1,000 if the town fails to complete compliance requirements. The town has been notified that it is in violation of several other policies and has been for several years, going back to 2008.

The town received several notices from the state ordering them to halt their water testing practices, which are not in accordance with state regulations. Antonito Mayor Michael Trujillo was sent a letter calling for a cease and desist on water regulatory practices in the town. The letter requires the town to submit an answer to the water quality division that either admits or denies the findings on the violations. Trujillo said that a response was sent and that the town is doing the best it can to comply with the state. Several residents voiced their opinions regarding the violations and how the town is planning to address these charges. Resident Ronald Hope asked Trujillo if he was aware of the violations and if the board had received letters from the state informing the town of the nature of the violations and the potential repercussions of continuing to operate out of policy.

“I just want to know if the board is aware of the violations in question. We have an unlicensed water tester working for the city and we need a new one that is qualified. The board needs to do something about this,” said Hope. Trujillo said that the town was aware of the violations and of the length of time that these violations have been occurring.

“We are working on trying to solve this problem. We have to look at this and work on it as a community because this affects all of us,” said Trujillo.

The board did not make any decision regarding the violations, and suggested that a workshop be conducted to discuss, and come to a solution , for complying with state water regulations.

Antonito water has been scrutinized since the Guadalupe water test came back positive for E. coli in November . Only one test came back positive, but it raised some concern amongst residents and brought the town’s past violations into question.

From the Associated Press via The Pueblo Chieftain:

Residents of Antonito are worried about their water quality after the town was notified it failed to comply with state water regulations for months. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a letter threatening to penalize the town for allowing town administrator Rossi Duran to operate the town’s water systems without a license.

At a meeting last week, resident Ronald Hope asked Antonito Mayor Michael Trujillo if he was aware of the violations. City officials acknowledged that Duran has been operating without a license since August, and the town’s waste and distribution licenses expired in 2012.

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