Erosion Control Company Penalized Following Backflow Incident in Massachusetts

Dec. 16, 2011

R.B. Arello Co. Inc. will pay $18,975 for incident with Somerset Water Supply

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) penalized R.B. Arello Co. Inc. $18,975 in response to a backflow incident to the Somerset Water Supply, which resulted in a do-not-drink order that occurred when Hydrograss was acting as subcontractor to Cianbro/Middlesex at the Veteran's Memorial Bridge construction project in Somerset, Mass.

On May 31, 2011, Hydrograss was conducting hydroseeding for this project, in part as an erosion control measure, when an employee accessed a new fire hydrant located adjacent to a nearby nursing home. The nursing home at that time was drawing in large quantities of water, and the improper connection by Hydrograss, a violation, and the change in pressure at the hydrant caused a backflow that resulted in hydroseed material being drawn into the water distribution system.

Soon after, the Somerset notified DEP of the presence of hydroseed material in the public water supply distribution system. DEP immediately issued the order to Somerset, and the order remained in effect until June 2, 2011, while the system was flushed out and tested for hydroseed material.
Hydrograss took immediate, responsible actions itself, and has since worked to prevent any future backflow incidents by conducting additional employee training sessions. Also, Hydrograss has initiated safeguards, including the purchasing of mechanical backflow preventers/fittings and outfitting its trucks so that proper connection to hydrants is ensured. In addition to admitting to the violation, Hydrograss has agreed to pay the full $18,975 penalty.  

Source: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

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