ST. CHARLES, Mo. – St. Charles city officials will conduct an independent investigation over recent contamination findings at the Elm Point Well Field.

Officials say the results will “provide an early warning of migration of hazardous chemicals towards the city’s drinking water wells.”

Recently, a limited subsurface investigation from the Environmental Protection Agency indicated contamination at the well field, under supervision of Ameren and the Huster Road Substation. The city claims the EPA did not complete a full investigation of the site, prompting an independent investigation.

St. Charles plans to install 26 permanent monitoring wells near the well field’s contamination and sample groundwater from those wells. City officials are hopeful the results will offer a larger perspective of contamination at the well field “under a variety of hydrological conditions.” such as droughts and high river levels.

“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to continue to provide safe drinking water to our residents,” said St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer.  “We will do the necessary testing and evaluation to ensure that we have the full, complete picture of what is happening in the well field, so we can make the best decision for our City and the residents moving forward.”

Last October, Borgmeyer claimed four of the city’s seven wells had been contaminated with carcinogens over the years, and that Ameren Missouri was responsible. Ameren claims “cleanup of the Huster substation has been successful in reducing on-site, and off-site impact from a cleaning produce last used decades ago.” 

St. Charles leaders say the water is still safe to drink, but Borgmeyer said the city has had to purchase about $2 million of additional water from St. Louis over the past five years.

The latest investigation into the well field began Monday and is expected to last nearly two months.