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Attorney General's News Release

March 19, 2013

Attorney General Koster reaches settlement with Cape Girardeau County fitness center over contaminated drinking water

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that Jackson, Missouri, business owners have agreed to terms of a settlement that will require the business to come into compliance with the Missouri Safe Drinking Water Law, after drinking water provided there was found to be contaminated.

Koster said that an investigation was launched by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services when a number of area children became ill after consuming drinking water contaminated with the dangerous pathogenic bacterium E. coli 0157 H7. The public health investigation traced the illness to contaminated water at the Class Act Family Fitness Center, owned by Shawn and Lynn McNally. The health department informed the Department of Natural Resources, which oversees public drinking water systems.

The McNallys had connected the fitness center, which is located outside Jackson city limits, to an unauthorized farm well. Upon learning of the unauthorized source of drinking water, the Department of Natural Resources issued an emergency abatement order compelling the McNallys to stop using the contaminated well.

Koster said that under the terms of a court judgment, the McNallys will connect hand washing sinks in the restrooms of the Class Act Family Fitness Center to a state-approved drinking water holding tank with new water treatment and distribution systems. Upon connection to sinks for hand washing, the holding tank, water treatment system, and water distribution system will be a regulated public water system under the Missouri Safe Drinking Water Law. The McNallys also agreed to obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources to dispense drinking water to the public and refrain from supplying drinking water from the fitness center’s old well to the public for consumption.

The McNallys agreed to pay a civil penalty of $22,500 with $15,000 suspended upon compliance with the consent judgment, as well as the state’s court costs.

"Missourians have a right to expect safe drinking water from their local businesses," Koster said. "Thanks to immediate corrective action taken by the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health and Senior Services, and Cape Girardeau County Health Department, no more children were harmed as a result of the McNallys’ failure to comply with basic safe drinking water rules. My office will continue to protect Missourians from those who ignore laws designed to keep the public safe."

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