One day. That’s all it was. The City of Yatesville sent in a water sample on July 31, 2013, rather than August 1, 2013, and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is citing them for being in violation, forcing the city to mail out notifications to its water customers that they missed sampling the water for one month a year ago.
Yatesville Mayor Cecil Moncrief gave that news to the Yatesville City Council at their July meeting.
“It happened in August of 2013 – Tommy sent the sample in one day early,” Moncrief said. “So we are in violation for August 2013. So now we have to notify everyone that their water may not have been right a year ago.”
Council member Ronnie Riggins expressed his disbelief over the EPD action.
“Because he sent it in one day early? Not late, but early? To me, that is just crazy,” Riggins exclaimed “They’re picky too much. That is just ridiculous.”
Moncrief advised the council that he told the EPD pretty much the same thing that Riggins had said, but it made no difference.
“So it wound up with we had two samples in July and none in August. But they sent us some things and we’ve got them filled out. We’ve got to post it and we’ve got to mail it to every customer,” he said.
“You get your hand slapped every once in a while,” the mayor added. “But I put in the notice that all the samples that were taken before and after have been negative, so we were in compliance. But August they can’t verify because they got it one day early. But we’re good; there is nothing wrong with the water.”
The Times called Tom Jackson of the Watershed Protection Branch of the EPD, and Jackson confirmed what Mayor Moncrief said about the safety of the water.
“It is not a major issue. They have been microbiologically free of contamination for the last two years. So this is a relatively minor violation; they just missed a sample,” Jackson said. “But they’ve been very good before and after; this is just a little hiccup.”
Jackson also confirmed that it sometimes takes EPD a while before citations are sent out.
“When we run compliance schedules, we wait, because there are people that run monthly and quarterly samples. So we do have a lag time. What we do is we typically batch up a bunch of things together so we can get them all checked to make sure we weren’t making a mistake somewhere, then we’ll send out notices.”
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.