June 22 Public Meeting Presentation
City of Saint Charles Press Conference, May 24, 2023
City Drinking Water Well CW-7
To protect the health and safety of the City of Saint Charles’ residents, the City took immediate action to shut-down another water well in the Elm Point wellfield due to detections of contamination.
The City of Saint Charles reassures its residents and business owners that the drinking water being provided throughout the City remains safe for consumption. The City has taken immediate protective measures in order to maintain providing high-quality, safe drinking water to our residents and customers.
The Public Works Department has shut down City Well #7 after contaminants were detected. To date, the City has shut down 6 out of 7 wells. The City continues to be forced to purchase more water from the City of Saint Louis, instead of producing water at a lower cost. The City is also continuing to conduct its own independent testing, and investigation into additional treatment options for the City’s water treatment plant that would enable the contaminants to be removed.
City Drinking Water Well CW-9
The City of St. Charles voluntarily began weekly water sampling and analysis of the influent and effluent at the Elm Point drinking water treatment plant in November 2022. The influent is untreated groundwater from the wellfield coming into the treatment plant. The effluent is treated water leaving the plant for the residents and businesses to use and drink. The City was forced to start routine monitoring of the water entering and leaving the treatment plant, after repeated requests to require Ameren Missouri and the other responsible parties to perform this sampling were ignored by the USEPA and Missouri DNR. This was despite growing evidence of spreading contamination across the Elm Point Wellfield and detections of contaminants in the City’s drinking water wells.
USEPA Limited Subsurface Investigation
In March 2022, following the detections of hazardous chemicals in City drinking water well CW-6, Ameren Missouri and the USEPA indicated that a work plan for an investigation to assess the extent of contaminant migration from beneath the Ameren Huster Road Substation would be prepared and submitted to the City of St. Charles for review. This work plan was promised by Ameren Missouri and the USEPA multiple times over the next several months. Then in October 2022, the USEPA informed the City of St. Charles that Ameren Missouri would not be conducting a limited subsurface investigation. Instead, the USEPA identified that they would take the lead conducting the limited subsurface investigation. USEPA claimed the City refused to allow access to Ameren Missouri on City property near drinking water well CW-6. At no time has the City refused access to Ameren Missouri and simply required Ameren Missouri to provide the work plan that had been promised since March 2022 prior to beginning of any work.
Plans to Restart City of St. Charles Drinking Water Wells
In November 2022, the City submitted a notice to the USEPA and Missouri DNR requesting the development of a comprehensive plan for the safe restart of drinking water wells CW-4, CW-5, CW-6, and CW-8 before the end of the year. It should be noted this was prior to the identification of contamination in City drinking water well CW-9.
Consent Decree for the Ameren Huster Road Substation
In response to the overwhelming attendance at the USEPA’s November 17, 2022 public meeting and the many comments submitted by the citizens of St. Charles, the public comment period for the Consent Decree for the Ameren Huster Road Substation has been extended until March 6, 2023. The USEPA has also pledged to hold an additional public meeting to hear your concerns regarding the contamination in the Elm Point Wellfield. It is important that the citizen’s of St. Charles attend the next public meeting that is being hosted by the USEPA and to continue to express your concern regarding the contamination and need for immediate response from the USEPA and Missouri DNR at their public meeting and in comments regarding the Consent Decree. At a minimum, the USEPA and Missouri DNR should immediately require Ameren Missouri and the other responsible parties to: (1) upgrade the Elm Point drinking water treatment plant to remove hazardous chemicals and allow the City to operate all their drinking water wells without the risk of contaminated water being distributed to its citizens, and (2) relocate the City of St. Charles wellfield to an area free of contamination.