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Coeur d'Alene Landlord Charged With Failing to Test Water

Release Date: 7/20/1998
Contact Information: Shannon Cooper
(206) 553-2582

July 20, 1998 - - - - - - - - - - 98-40


The owner of a Coeur d'Alene housing complex has paid a civil penalty of $2,000 to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint alleging he violated the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Jess Goetz, the owner of the Pinegrove Duplexes and its water system that provides water via 17 service connections to about 50 year-round residents, neither admitted nor denied the allegations made in an EPA complaint issued to Goetz late last year.  

The complaint alleged that Goetz had ignored a July 1996 compliance order from EPA that directed him to conduct various sampling and survey activities the Safe Drinking Water Act requires of all public water systems.  The 1996 order instructed Goetz to conduct monitoring for nitrates, for inorganic chemicals, and for lead and copper.  The order also established a detailed schedule for Goetz to come into full compliance with the statutory requirements.

According to the EPA compliant, Goetz did not respond to the 1996 order, nor did he properly notify the Pinegrove Duplexes residents of his failure to perform the required monitoring.

Goetz is now on a schedule to bring the Pinegrove Duplexes water system into full compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.

Importance of the monitoring was explained by Larry Worley, manager of the EPA regional drinking water unit at the agency's regional headquarters in Seattle.

"It's a case of 'what you don't know can hurt you',"  Worley said.  "People are entitled to know what's in the water they drink, and the only way they can be assured that the water is safe is for the water supplier to take samples and have them tested, as the law requires."