August 2, 2023
Contact: Tyler Fortunati, Drinking Water Bureau Chief, email@example.com, (208) 373-0140
ISLAND PARK – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has agreed to a joint stipulation with Island Water Park Company (IPWC), Inc. related to the ownership and operation of the company’s public drinking water systems (PWSs).
The company operates seven public water systems in Island Park and Fremont County, Idaho, several of which have been under boil advisories or orders in recent months due to the presence of E. coli bacteria.
On July 7, 2023, DEQ filed a civil complaint in Bonneville County District Court against Island Park Water Company, Inc. and the system’s owner, Dorothy McCarty, for failing to correct significant deficiencies and health hazards, failing to provide accurate and timely public notification, failing to address low or lack of pressure, failing to take required drinking water samples, and failing to identify a responsible charge operator. On July 25, 2023, a joint stipulation for court order was agreed to between the parties and granted by the court. Under the joint stipulation:
- IPWC remains the owner of the systems and its assets and is responsible for operating the public drinking water systems. DEQ is not the owner or operator of the PWSs under IPWC ownership.
- IPWC agreed to a court appointed custodian of the systems—also known as a receivership. DEQ will choose the person or entity acting as the receiver and is coordinating with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to establish the receivership as soon as possible. Once in place, the receivership will have full control of and access to IPWC’s assets in order to properly operate and manage the PWSs. The receivership will continue until IPWC, or the systems, are purchased or otherwise transferred. Until the receivership is in place, IPWC is legally responsible for those systems.
- DEQ will notify customers of any potential health risks. This will continue until IPWC systems are operated under a receivership or sold.
- DEQ will take all required bacteria samples for all IPWC PWSs and notify customers of contamination as needed. This will continue until IPWC systems are operated under a receivership or sold.
DEQ is not taking control of IPWC or its PWSs. DEQ will not be making any repairs to any IPWC system. Customers are encouraged to contact IPWC for all water system issues, including outages.
Due to operational issues with these systems, DEQ anticipates that IPWC system customers will continue to experience outages and loss of pressure, which can lead to contamination entering the PWS. Customers are advised to continue boiling water before consuming, regardless of any in-home treatment systems.