The Whistleblower blog was started in 2008. Look for posts by these contributors: James Eli Shiffer, Jane Friedmann, Brandon Stahl, Eric Roper and Alejandra Matos. | Check out the Whistleblower archive.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter. Find our watchdog and investigative work at The Investigators.

The Star Tribune's journalists need your help blowing the whistle in Minnesota. Contact us here.

Plumber must quit after tainting water

Posted by: Jane Friedmann under Businesses in hot water, Whistleblower Updated: October 11, 2010 - 11:52 AM

After a company twice contaminated the water system at Normandale Community College last year, its owner can no longer do plumbing work in Minnesota, the state Department of Labor and Industry said last month.

Employees of Mechanical Solutions, Inc., a St. Paul company owned by Richard Ellingsworth Jr., were working on a cooling tower at the Bloomington college in June 2009. They attached a hose without using a backflow preventer, allowing ethylene glycol into the drinking water system. Seventeen days later, company workers let chemicals backflow into a water heater. No one got sick. Both times the system was flushed.
A $25,000 fine against Ellingsworth was vacated after the department was told the business had been closed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT