St. Joe County officials hold public meeting about water assessm - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

St. Joe County officials hold public meeting about water assessment in Gilmer Park

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St. Joe County officials held meeting to discuss drinking water in Gilmer Park St. Joe County officials held meeting to discuss drinking water in Gilmer Park
St. Joseph County officials held a public information meeting on Thursday night to discuss results of the ongoing drinking water quality assessment in the Gilmer Park area and to shed light on possible solutions. After the presentation the floor was given to community members to ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns.

Gilmer Park resident Karen Lucas was one of the people in attendance who spoke about the matter. She believes it isn't as serious as officials are making it out to be. "I do not feel the sky is falling we have to change it now. I do not think that applies to our community," Lucas said.

One of the proposed solutions is a public water system. The water would be provided from the city of South Bend.  Officials say if 75-90% of those dealing with drinking water issues participate in getting city water, the monthly cost would be 50-70 dollars. Shelley Steele-LeVeque says the price isn't the issue. "I'm more concerned about somebody trying to ruin my system by bringing in city fed water supplies," she said.

St. Joseph County Health Officer Dr. Thomas Felger was one of the presenters at the meeting. He says that even if people are not in favor of a public water system, something still has to be done. "We think it's pretty urgent even though we can't say we have a bunch of sick people here we know the potential is there," Felger said.

A number of Gilmer Park residents say they do not see their drinking water as a possible danger.

"For years we've been drinking this water. I've been drinking this water almost all my life and it hasn't affected me yet," Stephen Reiter said.

"I have kids who went to college and while they were in college they'd come home, they would even take water back with them," Lucas said.

Those thoughts do not sit well with Dr. Felger who says there is proof that says otherwise. "There were people that didn't think nitrate was a problem. I'm not sure how to answer that because nationally it's considered a problem," Felger said.

Another possible solution discussed to deal with the well water contamination is to install filtration systems. This would require a filtration system to be put on every faucet in the home to insure clean water. The health department is highly recommending that community residents take some sort of action.

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