SJC Health Department discusses solutions to contaminated water problem

A plan from the St. Joseph County Council to seek funding to permanently fix a contaminated water problem has passed.

Wednesday night the St. Joseph County Drinking Water Protection Working Group approved the measure.

In two parts of the county, tests reveal traces of prescription drugs, chloride and Deet in the water. The Health Deparment says 20 percent of Gilmer Park had contaminated water and 10 percent of Granger had unsafe drinking water also.

The group discussed a short term plan and long term one to solve the problem.

The county council will be asked to create a committee to look into how much it would cost for a sewer system or water treatment plan.

Marc Nelson from the St. Joseph County Health Department says, “Alternative range from providing sewer service from where it is cost effective in some areas, perhaps providing water service in some areas, upgrading septic systems, eliminating dry wells, having property transfer inspections, pumping of septic tanks that are mandatory.”

In the meantime a short term plan was been proposed that includes providing water by the city of South Bend to Gilmer Park, an aggressive outreach program, and requiring treatment like reverse osmosis.

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