City talks to South Bend residents about flooding near ethanol p - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

City talks to South Bend residents about flooding near ethanol plant

Posted:

We first told you last week that ever since the South Bend Ethanol Plant shut down, residents in the area have had water seeping through their backyards, and into their basements.

Tuesday, city leaders held a meeting to explain why the problem is happening.

Engineers say the ethanol plant was pumping 1 to 2 million gallons of water a day, and now that it isn't, the water has to go somewhere.

"We have water everywhere, everywhere in the house, we are pumping the water, 24/7," says Graciela Marin, who lives three doors down from the ethanol plant.

Oscar and Graciela Marin have lived in their home near the South Bend ethanol plant for two years.

They renovated their basement to give their five children their own bedrooms.

They say they never would have bought the house, if they knew this was going to happen.

"We build some rooms downstairs for my older kids, but they can't be there because of the smell and the water and everything," says Graciela.

Graciela says her youngest child, only a year old, has been sick since the water started coming into the basement and other's say they're dealing with mold they can't get rid of.

"I bleach it and clean the mildew from the windows and the corners and three days later, mildew all over again. I mean, that's not healthy for my kids to be smelling all that mildew," says a neighbor to the ethanol plant.

Dozens of people came to hear from the city about what's happening in their homes.

Engineers say it's because the ethanol plant stopped pumping water and now the water table has risen.

But homeowners want to know, "Whom is responsible for saying, 'You  people can build 6 foot deep.'?" asks resident Peggy Tomkiewicz.

It's a complicated issue the Common Council is trying to get to the bottom of.

"I think we need a little more education, find out what was accepted from the building department and what can be done now," says Common Council member Tim Scott who chairs the utility committee.

City leaders say for now, homeowners just need to keep pumping, and it may be months before a longer term solution arises.

A city engineer at the meeting said the department's hoping come February when the ethanol plant has its bankruptcy hearing, that another potential buyer will come forward to get the plant running again and bring the water table back down.

Until then, he took the names and addresses of those who actually have water in their homes so the city can take a closer look.

In the meantime, the council plans to take up the issue at its first meeting of the new year which is at 7 pm on January 14th in the County-City building.

Council members are urging homeowners to come and again voice their concerns.

They're also hoping to get someone from the building department there.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Councilman Derek Dieter calls for clearer Council policy on medical leave

    Councilman Derek Dieter calls for clearer Council policy on medical leave

    Officials say South Bend Common Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. is midway through his first week on medical leave, but the specifics of why he's out are unclear. He hasn't spoken publicly. Instead, all we have to go on is an email he sent the council president saying he needs to concentrate on his health. His request came a little over a week after his DUI arrest. Councilman Derek Dieter wants the full council to meet and clarify the leave of absence process.More >>
    Officials say South Bend Common Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. is midway through his first week on medical leave, but the specifics of why he's out are unclear. He hasn't spoken publicly. Instead, all we have to go on is an email he sent the council president saying he needs to concentrate on his health. His request came a little over a week after his DUI arrest. Councilman Derek Dieter wants the full council to meet and clarify the leave of absence process.More >>
  • New ownership and volunteers working to restore historic Eden Springs Park in Benton Harbor

    New ownership and volunteers working to restore historic Eden Springs Park in Benton Harbor

    They call it a labor of love. A big piece of Michiana history, sat vacant for decades. Now, dedicated volunteers are working to bring it back to life.Eden Springs Park was opened by the House of David religious commune in 1908 and closed in the early 1970's. Until 2009 it was left to let nature take it over, until new owners said they couldn't let it happen.More >>
    They call it a labor of love. A big piece of Michiana history, sat vacant for decades. Now, dedicated volunteers are working to bring it back to life.Eden Springs Park was opened by the House of David religious commune in 1908 and closed in the early 1970's. Until 2009 it was left to let nature take it over, until new owners said they couldn't let it happen.More >>
  • Drinking water concerns for Granger and Gilmer Park addressed at a meeting Wednesday

    Drinking water concerns for Granger and Gilmer Park addressed at a meeting Wednesday

    Nitrates, nicotine, deet, and other toxins were discovered in St. Joe County water in December 2013, following a year-long study. Northeast Granger and Gilmer Park on the south side of South Bend are the areas affected by the contamination. The county health department points to septic systems as the cause for the problem. A group of experts met Wednesday night just to lay-out the first steps in cleaning up the drinking water. St. Joe County's Environmental Health Director, Marc Nelson, says ...More >>
    Nitrates, nicotine, deet, and other toxins were discovered in St. Joe County water in December 2013, following a year-long study. Northeast Granger and Gilmer Park on the south side of South Bend are the areas affected by the contamination. The county health department points to septic systems as the cause for the problem. A group of experts met Wednesday night just to lay-out the first steps in cleaning up the drinking water. St. Joe County's Environmental Health Director, Marc Nelson, says ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.