West side well hits critical salt contamination - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

West side well hits critical salt contamination

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A salty situation at a Madison Water Utility well could prove costly to fix. 

Well 14 on University Avenue in the Spring Harbor neighborhood has hit critical salt contamination.  For now, the water is still drinkable, but the salty taste is deeply concerning for some residents.

Madison Water Utility's Joe Grande says the big problem with the nearly sixty-year-old well is run-off from parking-lot road salt.

"That can be more than 50 percent of the salt that's applied," Grande said.  "You have part of the parking lots for all the commercial businesses
from here up to West Towne, all of that salt makes it into the runoff and down to the aquifer," he added.

Aaron Crandall, the president of the Spring Harbor Neighborhood Association, says he doesn't have any major concerns, but he knows some neighbors who are worried, specifically those who may have health problems.

"I am concerned with the levels basically growing, doubling within the last 15-16 years, but in general I still feel the water in the Madison area should be, hopefully, safe," Crandall tells 27 News. 

The Madison Water Utility says there is no health threat for most people due to the rising sodium chloride levels at the well.

Grande says fixing the problem will be costly.

"Treatment is in multi-millions of dollars if we're gonna do treatment, well rehabilitation is probably in the 100,000's of dollars," he said. A study on possible solutions will take two to three months to complete.

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