DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A new draft memo written by investigators with the Florida Department of Health recommends stuff penalties for problems with drinking water in Delray Beach.
The 11-page draft memo is not yet finalized, but the findings within are public record.
In the document, DOH investigators confirm what the CBS12 News I-Team has been reporting for months - that Delray Beach had significant problems with water contamination that may have made some residents sick.
The problems in Delray Beach began years ago when reclaimed water pipes were cross-connected with drinking water pipes. That's a problem because reclaimed water (found in toilets and sprinklers) can contain viruses and bacteria that are not safe to drink.
Investigators say the City did not adequately warn residents about the contaminated water, but the violations go beyond that. The memo also says the City withheld information from the State, and failed to mention that some residents were getting sick.
Investigators say the reclaimed water cross-contamination discovered years ago wasn't completely fixed until 2020.
The draft document calls the violations "willful or intentional" in nature, and recommends maximum penalties totaling almost $3 million.
The CBS12 News I-Team tried to contact Delray Beach officials for comment, but a spokesperson referred us to a public relations firm recently hired. They had no comment either, at least until after they receive the final letter from the state.