My name is Tarref Simon, a formerly employed boiler technician with the Veterans’ Administration from 7-16-12 to 12-31-13 at the Michael E. DeBakey Hospital Center. The hospital where I worked used industrial boilers to make steam for hospital operations—including cleaning water and sterilizing bedding and miscellaneous items. Frequently, the plumbing that was necessary to operate the boilers lacked the necessary water pressure to function properly, and malfunctions occurred the nurse stations would make repair/maintenance work orders–because they had no water to care for patients or for medical staff to conduct their work. When the plumbing malfunctioned it compromised the safety, sanitation, and operation of the Hospital, because it prevented the bathrooms, fountains, utility sinks, washing machines, ice machines, etc. from working properly, hygienically, and so forth. Our water pressure problems resulted from the chronic problem of undertreated or untreated water of Houston’s Drinking Water Operation authority was full of mud that clogged valves that separated the Veterans’ Administration water line from the city’s water line. Many hospital toilets required repeated unstopping due to mud and debris traveled through the pipes that obstructed water flow in the plumbing. I tried to find the origin of the problem, and asked power control technicians about mechanical bay 8 in the hospital where power, water and steam intersect. I also inquired whether bay 8 had a main filter, and I was informed that there was no filtration system for the bay in question. Ironically, I knew that there was none, but I wanted someone with expertise to confirm what I knew already. Dentistry had one filter and some ice machines. The Michael E. DeBakey Hospital Center operating rooms on the 5th floor had their own ice machines. The ice machines for the operating rooms had no filters. Medical staff used this ice made from unfiltered water to pack human organs—means the ice was made from dirty water. Imagine how many people have been possibly harmed by being exposed to unclean water, and I know that ice machines that had filters required changing because they filled up with dirt and sediment rapidly. Veterans and the public should know this because people could become ill or die. Please look into this matter and help the patients. Please contact me or email [email protected] I want to tell the public what I know. Thanks.

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