Blue-colored drinking water worries Granger neighborhood

GRANGER –Imagine turning on your kitchen faucet to get a drink, and the water comes out bright blue. That’s what happened to two homes in Quail Ridge South, a Granger subdivision near the Adams and Fir intersection. It’s…revealing a bigger problem than just the color: it could be an issue with the well-water system.

The Quail Ridge Homeowners Association uses a chemical called AquaShade to control algae growth in the neighborhood ponds.

The St. Joseph County Health Department says the neighborhood used too much of the chemical last fall, and somehow, the blue dye from AquaShade started showing up in those two residential wells over the last several weeks. The Health Department ordered the neighborhood to stop using chemicals in their ponds.

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Health Department officials sent letters to about 50 homes, warning families not to drink anything tinted blue.

They say the dye is food-safe; in fact, it’s used in many food items. However, it’s not approved to be in drinking water, so the County is calling it a “noxious” chemical.

Laura Buckey lives in Quail Ridge South and says she and her family no longer drink well-water as a result.

“I don’t really love drinking out of plastic bottles, either,” she admits. “I mean, my kids all play sports so we go through tons and tons of bottled water and that makes me nervous, too, but not as nervous as drinking what’s coming out of that pond.”

Other neighbors say they couldn’t care less, saying the problem is isolated to those two wells. Until they see blue themselves, they’ll keep drinking.

“Not [worried] at all, because A, it was only 2 homes, and B, with the publicity, that’s great,” says Sue Schroeder, who also lives in Quail Ridge South. “Nothing to worry about.”

But Buckey says it’s not just the dye that’s concerning her, it’s the entire water system that’s letting liquid from the pond into these homes.

“It’s one thing that it’s blue,” she says. “What else is clear that’s in there? Why is something getting from lake getting into my well? That’s concerning.”

The Health Department says this is not the first time they’ve dealt with this AquaShade problem.

Leon Albrecht, a member of the association’s lakes board, says the neighborhood has stopped using any chemical in their ponds until they receive clearance from the county.

As a result, the algae has been growing rapidly.

“The lake is pretty gross, it’s pretty algae-filled,” Buckey says.

The county’s health department says the state’s chemist is still testing some of the well-water.

If you see any blue hue in your drinking water, call the health department immediately: (574) 245-6762.

 

Annie Chang, wsbt

View original article at: Blue-colored drinking water worries Granger neighborhood

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