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Delray Beach approves settlement with Florida Department of Health

Delray Beach approved a $1 million settlement with the Florida Department of Health on Nov. 9.

As reported by WPTV, the city agreed on a settlement over alleged problems with the city’s water program. 

The consent order requires the city of Delray Beach to comply with a series of corrective actions.

The order also accuses the city of violating nine violations surrounding the program. Most of the allegations surround the cross-contamination of reclaimed water sources and drinking water.

The state initially proposed a $1.8 million settlement and also wanted Delray Beach to inform citizens that drinking water hasn’t met the standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act for 13 years. The specific language is no longer included in the updated consent order.

“This opens the door for the next steps in terms of utility operations, infrastructure improvements. Most importantly, an assuredness that a safe environment is available across the board,” says City Manager Terrence Moore.

Under the settlement, the city stated that it has three years to make sure it complies. The vote came on Nov. 9 after the Florida Department of Health threatened to file a lawsuit in September for stalled negotiations. 

Contact 5 spoke with a resident in June after a whistleblower claimed to discover a cross-connection that mixed reclaimed water with her tap water. “I was taken by ambulance to the hospital because of vomiting and diarrhea,” says resident Linda Polly. 

Polly stated that she got sick weeks later in January 2019 and believes her illness is attributed to the water.

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