A former city employee in the eastern Iowa town of Edgewood has been sentenced to probation, after he admitted that he failed to test the town’s water supply and submitted false reports to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Scott John Harris must serve two years of probation, work 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday. He also owes a $100 special assessment.
Harris, 43, pleaded guilty in April to one count of making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency.
In the plea agreement, Harris admitted that he sent false monthly reports to the DNR between February 2008 and July 2009. Harris falsely claimed he had tested the water for fluoride, chlorine and manganese.
DNR water tests showed less chlorine in the water than the 1.5 milligrams per liter required by state law to kill bacteria.
The review also found lower-than-acceptable levels of fluoride, which reduces tooth decay, and manganese oxide, which helps remove cancer-causing radium from the water. Residents were not exposed to any short- or long-term health risks, a DNR officer said.
The DNR originally alleged that Harris claimed to have conducted 3,889 water tests between January 2006 and July 2009, but bought enough material for only 100 tests. Harris resigned in August 2009.
The investigation began after some residents complained about declining water quality.