Letter to Our Customers about Our Water Quality Testing

Dear Valued Customer, 
The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) recently made the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) aware of irregularities identified in our water quality testing. As a result, LDH issued a notice, which is currently being distributed as an insert in your monthly bill.

The sample location numbers found in the violation notice indicate that SWBNO completed:
• 147 of 150 (98%) required samples in December 2022, and
• 173 of 180 (96%) required samples in June 2023.

This means SWBNO did not meet the minimum number of required valid samples for the months listed above due to the discrepancies. The three employees involved no longer work at SWBNO.

Both LDH and SWBNO have investigated the matter. SWBNO re-tested all sampling locations following the dates in question and found no issues during subsequent testing. We maintain that public health was not at risk, but we take these allegations seriously. We are taking the actions noted below:

1. Immediately instituting random cross-referencing of GPS data records and water sample reports
2. Installing cameras in sample-taking vehicles (for employee safety as well as internal training/review)
3. Implementing software to correlate sample data and GPS data to establish a system of continuous monitoring and provide heightened oversight
4. Hiring and training new samplers

Public health is our top priority as we implement and comply with all corrective measures, including notifying our customers of this violation, which you will find below.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact the SWBNO Purification Department at (504) 865-0405 or waterinfo@swbno.org.


Notice about Your Drinking Water from the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans to Customers on the east bank of New Orleans:

The New Orleans Carrollton Water Works monitors your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not your drinking water meets health standards as set forth in the State and Federal Primary Drinking Water Regulations [Louisiana State Sanitary Code (LAC 51:XII) and Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 141)].

During the monitoring period of December 1, 2002 through December 31, 2022, New Orleans Carrollton Water Works collected 147 of 150 required monthly compliance samples for coliform bacteria. During the monitoring period of June 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023, New Orleans Carrollton Water Works collected 173 of 180 required monthly compliance samples for coliform bacteria. New Orleans Carrollton Water Works failed to collect the required number of samples for the two months in question. Therefore, the New Orleans Carrollton Water Works cannot be sure of the quality of your drinking water for all areas during that time.

Investigations determined that some sample tap locations and records were falsified by sample collectors. As a result of the rejection of those invalid samples, Carrollton Water Works did not monitor at the required minimum number of locations during the monitoring periods listed above. Those sample collectors are no longer collecting water samples for the S&WB, and to prevent this from happening again, we are taking additional actions to ensure sampling integrity, including increased GPS monitoring of sample collections and additional training.

This is not an emergency. There is nothing you need to do at this time. As our customer, you have the right to know what happened and what is being done to correct the situation.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

Again, more information, please contact New Orleans Carrollton Water Works at (504) 865-0405 or waterinfo@swbno.org.


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