One year later, still little known about lead-up to tap water ban

A multiagency investigation into the city’s nearly four-day tap water ban in December 2016 is ongoing – but little is publicly known about it.
It leaves pending – at least for now – many of the most looming questions surrounding the episode, in which officials had warned residents to have no contact at all with the municipal tap water.
No backflow preventer could be found on the site of where they suspected there could have been contamination, according to documents.
Ergon was operating on the site where officials have said there was potential for contamination.
Valero leased the property to Ergon.
Ergon spokesman Bill Miller wrote in an email to the Caller-Times the company has "continued to have conversations with the state, responding to any information requests that the State has had."
Those regulations already applied to businesses operating within city limits, but had not previously applied to businesses outside city limits that were connected to the water system.
Local officials also put into effect new enforcement measures for commercial businesses within city limits, permitting city personnel to test and certify backflow preventers on properties if a company fails to do so each year.
Those cases were different than the water ban, which wasn’t tied to the city’s maintenance of water quality standards, McComb said.
But the tap water ban made it clear that there was another area – businesses outside city limits, but attached to the city’s water supply – that needed greater vigilance as well.

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