ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A new well water site in St. Charles was being considered, and residents wanted to know who would pay for it. It was one of the things discussed at Thursday’s city-wide meeting about the ongoing water concerns. 

Tensions are high, and residents want answers from Ameren Missouri and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

“It’s just testing, testing, testing, and keep testing. “That’s not solving the problem,” said Mayor Dan Borgmeyer. 

In October, three companies were named as being responsible for the contamination. 

“Cadmus and Findette were a long time ago. There were six, and after that, the EPA came out and said, ‘Okay, Ameren, who was the third one, you have to improve your plant and replace the wells that you damaged,'” Borgmeyer said.

A spokesperson from Ameren Missouri said the following statement:

“The data is clear, and cleanup of the Huster substation has been successful in reducing on-site, and off-site impact from a cleaning produce last used decades ago.” 

Borgmeyer said that didn’t happen. 

“They released some contaminants into the ground, which they said mitigated the chemicals that were there,” he said. “But as those chemicals go down, and we’ve heard in these meetings, the contaminants get stronger and stronger as they go down, and those chemicals mix.”

Borgmeyer said city residents can contact the EPA with concerns through March 6. He said at the end of March the city expects a decree from the EPA. 

Here’s the full statement from Ameren Missouri: 

Drinking water remains safe in St. Charles. Ameren Missouri continues to encourage all parties to work collaboratively to keep water safe. 

We remain hopeful that a thorough, transparent, and efficient investigation led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide accurate information leading directly to determining the source of the issue, as well as constructive solutions. Until that EPA-led investigation is complete, appropriate next steps cannot be determined. No matter the source, Ameren Missouri is committed to working with the EPA and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). 

Federal regulations lay out detailed requirements to determine appropriate investigation and remedy selection procedures. The EPA has, and continues to follow, those procedures. Ameren has been fully cooperative in those efforts. 

The data is clear. Ameren Missouri’s cleanup of the Huster substation has been successful in reducing on-site, and off-site impacts from a cleaning product last used decades ago. Enhanced treatment for chemicals confined to the substation site is now underway to eliminate any residual material trapped in clays and soils on-site. All this work will be performed under the supervision of the EPA. 

Additional Information: 

  • The dynamics (both the chemical fingerprint and depth underground) of some of the chemicals detected at City Well 6 are significantly different than those associated with the Huster substation remediation. Further investigation is needed. 
  • On behalf of more than 700 Ameren co-workers who live or work in the City and County of St. Charles, and the thousands more who live in the metropolitan St. Louis area, we share the goal of ensuring clean drinking water. 
  • Ameren Missouri has been transparent and cooperative through the entire process. Since 2014, the City has participated in quarterly meetings with MDNR, EPA, and Ameren and has had the opportunity to review and comment upon technical reports and submittals.