St. Joseph County looking for solutions to drinking water proble - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

St. Joseph County looking for solutions to drinking water problems

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We told you last month about unsafe drinking water in Granger and Gilmer Park in St. Joseph County.

A group tasked with finding solutions is looking at a number of possibilities.

"We're looking at a whole range of perhaps 30 different alternatives and it will vary depending on how severe the water contamination problem is in any given area," says St. Joseph County Environmental Health Director, Marc Nelson.

Some of those alternatives include things like sewer service, water service, and upgrading septic systems.

For now, folks can install water filtration systems.

"It's important to have one good, safe, trusted water source in your house," says Culligan Water Specialist, Kurt Sells.

Sells says that can be done with a reverse osmosis system. Experts can hook the filtration system up to your kitchen faucet. Sells says it can remove up to 87 percent of nitrates in drinking water.

"You use it in your coffee pot. You use it when you're making the kids Kool-Aid, you use it when you're washing off your vegetables and your fruit. You've got perfect water that you're using for that all the time," says Sells.

The health department says 20 percent of homes in Gilmer Park and 10 percent of Granger homes exceed the federal standard of nitrates in drinking water. That's ten parts per million.

A long term solution could take years, but now they've voted on a plan to move forward.

"We will be seeking some funding from the County Council. Doing some more coordination with the city of South Bend and Mishawaka, perhaps some other towns, to see if there are some ways to assist eachother," says Nelson.

The committee is expected to meet again in a couple months and is encouraging everyone in Gilmer Park and Granger who haven't had their water tested, to do so.

Especially women who are pregnant and families with children under two-years-old, "It's not an immediate threat, except to one group of people, and that is, if you do not know the quality of your water and you have an infant or you are pregnant, then I don't think you should drink the water," says Nelson

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