ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Hundreds of people filled the Memorial Hall in St. Charles on Thursday to get answers about the city’s contaminated water wells.

Residents want to know who is responsible for the contamination and why the responsible parties are not being forced by the government to pay for the cleanup.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the contamination is at the aquifer level below the surface. Officials with the EPA said they never directed or recommended the city to close any of the water wells. They said the wells are at acceptable drinking water levels, but city officials said an independent company said differently.

“We want them to take responsibility, and it’s not that they want us to take responsibility, they just don’t want to take it,” said Mayor Dan Borgmeyer.

The EPA said Ameren Missouri collects samples every two weeks at two well sites and has done so since January. The city said Ameren has already signed a consent decree, which the city said is the electric company accepting responsibility.

A spokesperson with Ameren Missouri said the following statement:

“We appreciate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosting tonight’s forum, providing answers to the community’s questions, and sharing additional information. It is reassuring to know that the EPA says drinking water in the City of St. Charles and surrounding communities is safe.

We also agree with the EPA that more testing and analysis is needed. As everyone heard tonight, the source of the chemical detected at City Well 6 is unknown. Ameren Missouri strongly supports additional EPA-directed testing in the area this year with the cooperation of all parties to determine the source. For many years, Ameren Missouri, the City of St. Charles, the EPA, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have worked collaboratively on this issue. We intend to continue to do so.”