Former Dolton water operator charged with falsifying water sampling data

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A former Dolton certified water operator is facing federal charges that he falsified paperwork to make it seem like the south suburb was properly sampling its drinking water.

Philip Kraus, 63, of Thornton is charged with five counts of submitting a false statement to the Illinois EPA and one count of engaging in a multi-year scheme to submit false statements, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

“Mr. Kraus violated the residents of Dolton, and, although we have no evidence that Mr. Kraus’ conduct caused any actual harm, it did create a very real risk of contamination going undiscovered,” U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said in the statement.

Each month, Dolton, which buys its water from Chicago, was required to collect 25-30 samples of its drinking water from various points representative of the entire water system to be sure contamination did not occur after delivery, prosecutors said. The samples were to be tested for the presence of coliform bacteria.

However, Kraus routinely collected multiple drinking water samples from only one or a few locations, then falsely stated on paperwork that the samples were taken from several locations throughout Dolton, prosecutors allege.

The laboratory then sent the test results and false sample site data to the IEPA, prosecutors said. The lab is not accused of any wrongdoing.

All test results from the samples were negative for coliform bacteria, according to the indictment.

Each of the six counts carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Kraus will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court.

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