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EPD: Fayette-run Brooks water system not tested for lead, copper for 3 years

The Fayette County Water System failed to conduct adequate lead and copper sampling of the former Brooks Water System for three straight years, according to a notice sent to system customers in the small south Fayette town.

The county took over the Brooks water system in June 2010.

The lack of state-required testing was contained in a notice mailed to water system customers in Brooks, and it has led to concern from a Brooks resident and several members of the Brooks Town Council as well.

The Brooks Council agreed Monday night to have Mayor Dan Langford write a letter asking the water system to send a representative to the next council meeting Sept. 16 to explain the matter. Langford said he would run the letter by council members via email before sending it later this week.

Brooks resident and former councilman Steve Hayne brought up the matter, saying he was concerned that the water system knew about the violation for three years and has done nothing about it until now.

While the city has “leased” the town’s water system to the county, Langford agreed the town has responsibility for insuring citizens’ safety.

The notice states that the county plans to take new lead and copper samples this month. According to state standards, the tests must occur during the months of June through September.

Councilman Ted Britt said council “needs to hold them accountable.” Britt noted that any time work is done on the water lines, the water in his home turns brown and county officials advise him to turn on an outside water spigot until it turns clear. Though other council members said they haven’t had such discoloration problems, Britt theorized it might be because his home rests in a low area.

“I’m going to run the water and send it off next time,” Britt said.

Claiming that the county hasn’t replaced the water lines in Brooks as initially pledged, Hayne questioned what benefit the town received by having the county operate the town water system beyond not having to handle the water billing process.

Hayne said he was serving on town council when Water System Director Tony Parrott and then-County Administrator Jack Krakeel negotiated the lease of the water system with the Brooks Council.

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