City of Logansport offers water safety info for wells

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell

While federal authorities work to ensure wells supplying the city and Logansport State Hospital will not be contaminated, rural Cass County residents have options to ensure their well water is safe.

Mayor Dave Kitchell today asked the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to provide free water testing for Cass County residents who draw water from the same aquifer that supplies the five wells on the Logansport State Hospital campus managed by the Logansport Municipal Utilities.

“The EPA has assured us that our LMU customers and Logansport State Hospital patients and staff are safe and not affected by the contaminant levels found in four of the five wells there,” Kitchell said. “Our concern is for the people outside the city limits who are not LMU water customers. They need to know that their water is safe for drinking, cooking and bathing and what precautions they have to take if their water is not safe.”

The mayor said there are three options those residents can pursue. One is to contact the Cass County Health Department on High Street. Water samples there will be tested by an independent lab for a nominal fee. The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District also has provided a link to well water analysts. That link is https://www.in.gov/isdh/22452.htm. Laboratories listed on the link that test for volatile organic compounds can detect levels of TCE and PCE which are the contaminants identified in well monitoring performed by the EPA. A third option is to secure other independent well tests. If IDEM eventually offers free testing, that would be a fourth option.

Meanwhile, environmental and local officials will be collaborating on determining the source of the contamination.

The mayor said the Superfund list underscores the work the city has done to clean up contaminated areas of the city with a $600,000 federal brownfield grant, the largest awarded in Indiana in 2016.

“The city has virtually exhausted that funding we secured through our relationship with Fulton County and Eel Township,” Kitchell said. “We hope to secure more brownfield funding in the future because people deserve and expect safe environmental conditions below ground, in the water and in the air.”