Trempealeau Co. Health Dept. addresses concerns of possible water contamination

Residents near Guza sand mine concerned

The Trempealeau Co. Health Dept. has been answering concerned calls from residents who live near the Guza Sand mine.

They’re concerned about potential drinking water contamination in their wells.

In a news release, Trempealeau Co. Health Officer Sherry Rhoda said, “Yes, it is very unfortunate and the problem is under investigation. Our department is committed to protecting the environment and the health of all citizens and guests in our county.”

“At this time we do not know what effect this will have in the long run on our ground water. It can take a significant amount of time (months or years depending on the soil) for a contaminant to move through the soil into the aquifer. Unfortunately, there is no EPA approved test available for acrylamide. We encourage you if you are concerned about your drinking water to have it tested for nitrates and bacteria at a minimum. A more detailed series of tests would include pH, hardness, specific conductivity, iron, manganese, and arsenic. If the results do not indicate test levels in the normal range, this may be an indication of possible contamination in the ground water. We can supply the water¬† testing kits it you wish. We also encourage you to contact the city of Independence with your concerns,” said Rhoda.

State regulators shut down the Guza mine last week for operating without a permit and dumping polluted waste water into an unlined pond.