Residents near South Bend Ethanol Plant having water problems - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Residents near South Bend Ethanol Plant having water problems

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The city of South Bend considered the economic impact the ethanol plant's closing would have on the city, but there's one thing leaders didn't think of and now neighbors of the plant are dealing with a big headache.

The New Energy Ethanol Plant shut down production at the beginning of November and now neighbors say they're suddenly having water problems.

The South Bend City Engineer says the plant pumped 1 to 2 million gallons of water a day.

Now that production has shut down, the water table has gone up and water has rushed into basements of nearby homes.

Homeowners like Peggy Tomkiewicz say their sump pumps are running non-stop for the time in the 13 years she's lived there.

Common Council Member Oliver Davis has been taking phone calls from concerned residents, some who've experienced flooding in their basements.

The city is responding with a meeting next week to discuss the issues homeowners are having and to come up with a solution.

"We are recognizing that this is a major issue and hopefully we're going to pack out the place," says Davis.
    
Tomkiewicz just hopes the resolution comes sooner rather than later.

"We're having a terrible time. I'm really afraid of if we get a heavy snow, what's gonna happen," says Tomkiewicz.

Aside from just protecting her home, Tomkiewicz hasn't gotten this month's electric bill yet, which she expects will be a lot more than usual considering all the pumping.

She also said she contacted her homeowners insurance and she was told, she wouldn't be able to get flood insurance because she's not near water.

The meeting will be at 6pm on December 18th at the Rum Village Nature Center at 2626 S. Gertude Street.

About 200 homes will be getting notices of that meeting that were recently mailed.

The city is asking residents to call ahead at 574-235-9371 if they'll be attending.

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