The City of St. Charles plans to investigate water pollution at the well site

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — This week, crews will begin setting up permanent monitoring wells at 13 locations in St. Charles. With temperatures in the high teens on Tuesday, workers installed two permanent monitoring wells.

“Last week, the EPA completed its site survey of our well field,” said Nick Galla, director of public works for the City of St. Charles. “They did what is called a direct push test. They take some soil samples and try to determine where they think some of the contamination is coming from. The city feels that it starts from the location of the Ameren substation. So they got to work and focused on the sixth city well, one of the wells we had to shut down last year.”

The City of St. Charles is trying to better understand the extent of the contamination from the Ameren Huster Road substation. In October, FOX 2 reported that four of the city’s seven water wells were closed due to contamination.

Now five of the seven water wells have been closed by the city and officials are conducting their own independent investigation at Elm Point Wellfield.

“These are relatively small wells, about two inches in diameter,” said John Phillips, operations manager for the City of St. Charles. “But they go 75 to 85 and 65 to 75 feet deep so we can take water from those two different levels and see if that contamination is heavy or lighter where it might be present. So we know the path it leads to our wells.”

St. Charles has purchased more than 60% of its water from the City of St. Louis since 2017, spending more than $2 million.

“I want to reiterate that our water is safe,” Galla said. “It has always been safe and will be safe. We have never had proof that this contaminant left our treatment system. I want people to know that the city will do whatever it takes to keep this water safe.”

St. Charles wants the EPA and Ameren to pay for moving the city’s water wells to a contamination-free area. The process could take three to five years.

The EPA has scheduled a community meeting for February 23 to discuss groundwater contamination in St. Charles. They plan to construct 26 permanent monitoring wells in 13 different locations in the area. The City of St. Charles plans to investigate water pollution at the well site

Sarah Y. Kim

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