ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Drinking water contamination and what to do about it will be the focus of an important meeting tonight being put on by St. Charles city leaders.
There have been ongoing concerns about the drinking water supply in St. Charles for some time, and those concerns will be in the spotlight Thursday evening when the meeting takes place at the Foundry Art Centre.
The issue is at the Elm Point Wellfield in the area of Huster Road near I-370. Five of the seven wells there have had to be shut down, including three last year because of contamination concerns. The field’s largest well was shut down just last month.
St. Charles city officials believe the contamination comes from chemicals that Ameren used to clean a nearby power plant.
Ameren shared that it’s been working to try and find out what is happening and that it supports ongoing EPA testing to find the source of the contamination. St. Charles city officials said the drinking water is still safe, but the well shutdowns have caused them to buy more water from the city of St. Louis – and that is putting an increased burden on the community there.
St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer explained he wants to create a new wellfield that could cost $40 million. He wants Ameren to reimburse the city for that cost. Here is some of what Borgmeyer and an Ameren representative told FOX 2’s Elliott Davis in a recent ‘You Paid For It’ report.
“We can’t wait for this situation for Ameren and EPA and DNR to move forward, so we’re going to go ahead and move forward on investigating a new wellfield. We’re looking at sites right now. We had an engineer to look at it; we’re doing a preliminary assessment on what might be the best site,” Borgmeyer shared.
“For many years we’ve been working with EPA, DNR, and the city to clean up any contamination. We’ve had a great success with that. EPA at the end of the day they’re in charge, and we’re working with them to make sure that we do things by their procedures, by their practices, and to make sure that the area around our substation is clean,” Ameren’s Director of Environmental Services, Craig Giesmann said.
The meeting here is set for 6:00 p.m.