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United States v. Midway Heights County Water Dist.

Citation: 19 ELR 20142
No. No. Civ. S-87-1112-RAR/EM, 695 F. Supp. 1072 at 1075/27 ERC 2185/(E.D. Cal., 06/06/1988) Motion for stay pending appeal denied

The court holds that a county water district is a public water system under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and that the government has shown that the water system may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health under SDWA § 1431. The court first holds that defendant qualifies as a public water system under the SDWA, since individuals use the water for human consumption at over 15 service connections and at least 25 people use the water for human consumption on a regular basis. Although some of these customers may also purchase bottled drinking water, human consumption also includes such normal uses as bathing, cooking, dishwashing, and oral hygiene. The court holds that the government has demonstrated an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health. The government need not demonstrate that defendant's failure to comply with the SDWA has already caused illness. The court holds that there is a sufficient factual basis to support its requirement that defendant install a chlorination/coagulation system to remedy its violations. The court holds that alleged financial difficulties imposed on defendant are inadequate to justify a stay of the preliminary injunction.

Counsel are listed at 19 ELR 20140.