LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – The town of Silex is getting answers from the state and the Environmental Protection Agency about the city’s water contamination.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the town’s water system consistently tests above the standard limit for radium.
“We had been using tap water, yes. So now, I don’t know what we’re going to do. We just talked about, I looked up some on the internet myself, and we talked about just putting a water softener in ourself,” Kevin Creech, Lincoln County Moose Lodge administrator, said.
He said his concern is for the members and their families who spend Friday nights at the Moose Lodge.
“I just want to make sure I’m protecting them in any way I can. Find out any information I can,” Creech said.
The city taped water fountains in the school and residents have been drinking bottled water since Sunday.
“Bottled water is not a good solution for anybody. It’s not convenient; it’s problematic in the long term,” EPA compliance officer Scott Marquess said.
The city plans to use grant money from the American Rescue Act to fund the long-term solution but finding the funds for the interim solution is an issue.
“We’re working on whether there’s an option for blending with other uncontaminated water. Or potentially installing temporary treatment. All of those things cost resources,” Marquess said.
He said the radium in the town’s water well is normal for this part of the state.
“The issue in the Silex community and this area is completely associated with naturally occurring radium and naturally occurring nuclides in groundwater. Not related to any contamination associated with historic radioactive waste,” Marquess said.