Town of Campbell residents find hope in bipartisan infrastructure bill

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WKBT)  Debate is underway in the U.S. Senate on President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The bill would invest billions of dollars into helping clean up forever chemicals known as PFAS.

More than 1,000 families are drinking bottled water after learning about widespread PFAS contamination in the Town of Campbell.

There is still a long way to go before the bill is finalized, but this is a sign of hope for the families who can’t drink the water in their own homes.

Nothing is official,

“We may need the weekend,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “We may vote on several amendments. But with the cooperation of our Republican colleagues, I believe we can finish the bipartisan infrastructure bill in a matter of days.”

But Campbell resident Peter Davison is hoping that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will bring safe, clean water back to his home.

“To be able to do it again, to drink water out of the tap, to drink water out of the hose, to know all of my neighbors in my community have clean water again, would mean a lot, ” Davison said.

540 private wells, including Davison’s, have tested positive for PFAS — a group of man-made compounds that have been linked to infertility, thyroid disease and cancer.

The PFAS levels in some wells are so high the water is unsafe to drink, cook with, or use to brush your teeth.

Families used to be able to come to Plainview Park to watch their kids play baseball without having to worry about drinking water, now this new bill is giving families hope that they’ll be able to do that again.

“So my children are only 18 months old so the big challenge we have is you cant drink the bathwater, when we play outside in the sprinkler or play outside in the water table or fill the pool up, you can’t drink that water,” said Davison.

If passed, the infrastructure bill includes $55 billion for drinking water.

Town Supervisor Lee Donahue said some of that money could be used to pipe clean water to everyone in town.

“At least it gives us hope that the money is going to be available because we are moving forward with plans for the future. We can’t just sit around and wait for safe drinking water to fall out of the sky,” Donahue said.

This would help communities nationwide, not just Campbell, she said.

“In the community of Wisconsin, we have more than 50 communities that are now facing PFAS contamination in their wells which means the water, depending on their levels is unsafe to drink.”

Not having safe water affects everything you do all day long, Campbell said.

If this bill makes it through the final checks, she hopes Campbell residents will have a little more peace of mind.