EPA plans clean-up for water contamination in Elkhart

by Ed Ernstes, originally posted on April 18, 2016


In just two days the Environmental Protection Agency will lay out its plan to clean-up water contamination on Elkhart’s northeast side.

Problems were discovered at the Lane St. Superfund site back in 2007.

WSBT 22’s Elkhart County reporter Ed Ernstes explains the price tag of the clean up could be as high as $11-million.”It’s kind of been in the back of my mind and everything else, but being’s that we’re are on city water and stuff, I’m not really too actually concerned but yet it does weigh in the back of my mind and like to possibly see how it would be cleaned up,” said Ron Witt, who lives near the site.The site is roughly bounded by Cooper Dr. and Aida Dr. on the north and stretches just south of Marina Dr. and County Road 106.

Problems in the area were initially discovered more than eight years ago.”In august of 2007, a private resident tested their water well and found high concentrations of volatile organic chemicals in their well water,” said Carrie Brunson of the County Health Department.Since then, more problems were discovered and the EPA took steps to put affected homes on city water.

The EPA has formulated plans to deal with the contamination — those plans will be unveiled at a public meeting Wednesday evening.At the public meeting the EPA plans to lay out what it knows about the area, what it has found, and possible steps that it could take to clean up the contamination, and a possible time for that.

One possibility is to take no action, the second to take minimal action and monitor the water.”Third doing a bio-remediation in place they would put micro-organisms down into the ground water, to potentially eat the contamination and the fourth would be that they pump it out and treat the groundwater and then put it back in to the ground water,” said Brunson.The EPA is still trying to track down an exact cause for the contamination.

The public meeting is this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Eastwood Elementary School.

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