On June 21, 2020 Betsy Calvert journalist for the Your Sun reported that “A manufactured home community of about 60 homes on Hunter Creek Drive” near Punta Gorda Florida “water had exceeded the allowable levels for radium isotopes.” tested positive for radioactive contaminants in their water system that exceeded federal and state standards. “Both Mosaic and the small residential community are located on the Peace River.”
MHProNews reached out to the private water treatment and supply operation involved. As the Calvert reported, there was no response from the U.S. Water Services.
MHProNews also contacted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Alexandra Kuchta with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) South District Office provided the following detailed response to MHProNews at on 6.25.2020 at 4:51 PM ET.
“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is dedicated to protecting Florida’s water resources and ensuring a safe and sustainable supply of water for our residents and visitors. In Florida, DEP has been granted authority by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Florida has adopted EPA regulations into Florida Administrative Code rules to implement this program. These rules set legal limits for certain contaminants in drinking water, as well as testing schedules and methods that water systems must follow.
DEP is dedicated to helping water systems quickly and effectively address any problems, and to ensure the public is informed and protected. When there is an exceedance of a drinking water standard, facilities are required to increase monitoring frequencies to verify the results, and to follow up with corrective actions as needed. We work with the utility to perform a system analysis to identify operational improvements and any corrective actions needed to bring the facility back into compliance with drinking water standards as quickly as possible.
Currently, approximately 90 contaminants are regulated under National Primary Drinking Water Regulations established by EPA. These federal regulations establish enforceable standards called “maximum contaminant levels” (MCL) to protect public health. These include Microorganisms (7 items), Disinfectants (4), Disinfection Byproducts (3), Inorganic Chemicals (16), Organic Chemicals (53) and Radionuclides (4). Radionuclides found in drinking water include the naturally occurring elements combined Radium-226 and Radium-228. These standards are protective, health-based standards that are established based on a lifetime of exposure. The MCL for combined Radium-226 and Radium-228 is 5 picocurries per Liter.
Groundwater in some areas in Florida are more susceptible than others to radioactive contamination from phosphate-rich soils and rock that the water moves through. It is important to regulate groundwater as it can be a source of drinking water for some communities, such as through private wells. Radionuclides levels in source water can be reduced by making adjustments to water treatment operations at drinking water facilities. For private wells, levels can be reduced by adding filtration systems.
In the case of the North Charlotte Water Treatment Plant (WTP), PWS ID No. 6084074, monitoring is conducted quarterly and compliance with the Radionuclides levels is based on the running annual average, or the average of the four most recent consecutive calendar quarters. The running annual average for the North Charlotte Water Works WTP began exceeding the MCL following the February 4 and 24, 2020 sampling event.
In March 2020, DEP sent the North Charlotte Water Works WTP a Compliance Assistance Offer addressing the exceedances and required Public Notification. In accordance with the requirements of this offer, the North Charlotte Water Works WTP submitted a preventive maintenance plan to DEP, which included additional operational and maintenance activities. For instance, the facility implemented additional cleaning of the Reverse Osmosis Membranes and replaced all of the O-rings in order to improve the quality of treatment.
On March 27th, North Charlotte Water Works WTP delivered a Public Notice to the persons served by the system. To return to compliance, the facility’s running annual average needs to be below the MCL. The next set of quarterly test results are due to be submitted to the Department by July 10, 2020, at which time the Running Annual Average will be re-calculated to determine if the system is back in compliance with the MCL.
As stated in the Public Notice, there is no anticipated health risk based on short-term exposure. Residents do not need to make any changes with regard to use of their water at this time; however, if they have specific health concerns or questions, they are encouraged to consult their doctor or the local health department.” –
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
South District Office
The experience of this manufactured home community is apparently not very different than “thousands” of other conventional housing residents in Punta Gorda.
Fox 4 reported on October 24, 2019 that “Thousands of people received a letter from the city alerting them that the water might be unsafe to drink and may cause health problems down the road.”
Despite FL DEP’s reassurances, Calvert’s report noted that several residents in that Punta Gorda manufactured home community were concerned about the safety of the water for drinking, or even bathing. Your Sun indicated that Mosiac was not believed to be the source of the contamination.
But as noted, others in Punta Gorda have had water related issues.
MHProNews plans to monitor the situation and report as deemed warranted.
Programming note. MHProNews is in the process of revamping our industry-leading x2 weekly emailed headline news updates. The revisions should be completed by late June or early July. Watch for it.
That’s a wrap on this installment of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony began reporting in high school which earned a journalism scholarship as well as numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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