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Former Marshalltown water employee decertified for falsifying reports
No evidence the falsifications results in unsafe drinking water
By Jared Strong, - Iowa Capital Dispatch
Mar. 5, 2023 12:12 pm
MARSHALLTOWN — A former Marshalltown Water Works employee was recently decertified by the state as a water treatment operator because he falsified test results of the city’s drinking water, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
There is no evidence that the falsifications resulted in residents drinking unsafe water, state and local officials said.
Mark Gilarski worked for the Marshalltown’s municipal drinking water source for a little more than two years, from June 2020 to October 2022, said Shelli Lovell, general manager of Marshalltown Water Works. The utility serves more than 27,000 people, according to state records.
Lovell declined to comment on the specifics of Gilarski’s departure, but Janet Gastineau, of the DNR, said Gilarski and another employee were fired for the falsifications.
The other employee, Dillon Collins, worked for Marshalltown Water Works from November 2021 to September 2022, Lovell said. Both employees worked a night shift.
Gastineau said the falsifications were discovered when workers of a subsequent shift found that their test results were notably different than what would have been expected from the test results from a previous shift. State records did not indicate what those tests were meant to detect.
The state requires drinking water suppliers to monitor their water for a variety of contaminants, along with chemicals they use to disinfect the water.
Gastineau said there is a pending DNR investigation into the other employee.
“Customer safety wasn’t ever at risk,” Lovell said.
The city conducts tests of its water at a higher frequency than what is required by the state — in part because the treatment facility is staffed day and night — and because of that the safety of the water was not imperiled, Gastineau said.
This article first appeared in the Iowa Capital Dispatch.