Town shuts down water well due to fireworks residue - WNEM TV 5

Town shuts down water well due to fireworks residue

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EVART, Mich. (CBS) -

A Northern Michigan city is losing money after a water well had to be shut down.

Traces of Perchlorate have been found in the well in the city of Evart.

It's not a health concern, but those traces shut down a well that supplies Ice Mountain Spring Water.

The city's well field is located near Recreation Drive and Fifth Street in the city of Evart.

“We usually average between $750,000 and a million a year in sales to them,” says City Manager Zackary Szakacs

Each year Evart’s partnership with Ice Mountain generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for the city.

But now one of their two wells is shut down.

The city says their Fourth of July fireworks are to blame.

“For 50 years the city of Evart has been shooting fireworks off our fair grounds which is about two blocks from our well field protection area,” says Szakacs.

Right now perchlorate isn't something regulated by the state.

Massachusetts and California do regulate it though, allowing 2 parts per billion. Evart's reading is only .82 parts per billion.

Meaning these levels don't create a problem for people drinking the water, but it does create a problem for the city. They've seen much lower numbers than the $750,000 they're used to since the well shut down in April.

“From September 2014 to September 2015 we've generated about $236,000,” says Szakacs.

“We have purchased less water from the city of Evart because we have two wells that we have access to, one of which is shut down. So running the other well sort of means about half as much I would say,” says Ice Mountain Midwest Senior Natural Resource Manager Greg Fox.

The city and Ice Mountain both say they're working as quick as they can to get that well back up and running but it will take a while.

“At this time in the investigation we don't know what timing is going to be for restoring full use of the well field,” says Fox.

“Our main goal, foremost main goal, is our health and safety of our residents and we are providing them with safe drinking water,” says Szakacs.

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