HAMMOND | A former United Water Services Inc. employee and consultant for the Gary Sanitary District wastewater treatment plant testified Wednesday in the ongoing trial of the former contract operator of the plant and two of its employees.
United Water Services, former Gary plant manager Dwain Bowie and plant superintendent Gregory Ciaccio face allegations of tampering with wastewater monitoring methods at the plant. The indictment alleges chlorine was increased when the daily E. coli samples were taken and then reduced.
Bob Moser, a civil engineer who was a consultant at the Gary plant from 2003 to 2005, testified that he had been familiar with the plant's disinfecting process.
An attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice presented an email message Moser had written to his boss expressing concern over the sampling process, calling the procedure “a recipe for disaster.”
Moser also wrote of the potential for problems if state or federal environmental agencies took samples outside of the higher chlorine time.
An attorney for United Water Services, in questioning Moser, sought to show plant workers were serious about the disinfection process and open with data.
The attorney referenced an email in which workers were told they had done a good job with low E. coli results and did not hint at potential problems with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
On Tuesday, a defense attorney maintained the defendants recorded accurate test results, arguing there was nothing wrong with increasing chlorine and taking E. coli samples when chlorine levels were highest.
Times staff writer Marisa Kwiatkowski contributed to this report.