Wis. AG settles drinking water suit

Bryan Cohen Jan. 10, 2012, 1:19pm

Van Hollen

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a settlement on Monday with Franklin Mobile LLC and its owner, David Steinberger, over allegations of drinking water code violations.

The Milwaukee County Circuit Court approved the settlement Thursday between the State and Franklin Mobile LLC and Steinberger, who must complete upgrades to the water supply systems serving Franklin Mobile Estates and adjacent commercial buildings. The defendants must also pay $9,000 in forfeitures and costs to the court and an additional $9,000 toward the state's prosecution costs.

"The public is entitled to a safe and adequate drinking water supply," Van Hollen said. "The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that everyone served by public water systems has both."

A civil complaint, filed against the defendants at the Department of Natural Resources' request alleged that the water supply system serving the Franklin mobile home park violated several state drinking water code requirements. The violations included the lack of a back-up water supply system when more than 50 units are served by one well, insufficient capacity, insufficient pressure, and casing height, electrical conduit, corrosion and ventilation issues.

Steinberger has worked with the DNR and Van Hollen's office since 2009 to upgrade the water supply systems and resolve the lawsuit. After the suit was filed, Steinberger completed the required upgrades for a well serving 27 units and he permanently sealed a well in a crawlspace under a tavern.

Under the terms of the agreement, Steinberger will connect the remainder of the park's units to the Franklin city municipal water system. The upgrades have cost approximately $70,000 to date. Connecting the city water will cost approximately $140,000. These costs were factored into the agreement.

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