Town prepares for summer, well 5 back online

Posted 6/12/24

CHUGWATER – Restrooms at the park and concession stand water were turned on, trees have been trimmed, and the garden club has planted flowers over the past month in Chugwater as the town …

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Town prepares for summer, well 5 back online


CHUGWATER – Restrooms at the park and concession stand water were turned on, trees have been trimmed, and the garden club has planted flowers over the past month in Chugwater as the town prepares for the summer season. Garden Club member Cathy Wilson said many of the plants have been propagated from seed or donated by people as they thinned out plants in their own gardens. The plants around the playground are species known to be non-toxic.
The maintenance department reported Eagle Drilling and the maintenance crew installed the pump and pipe on well no. 5, successfully passed its test, and is scheduled to be online by June 5th, providing water for the town again.
Councilman John Burns asked a summary of specifically what had been discovered as being wrong with the well. Aaron Wombacher, representing the maintenance department, said, “When we pulled the pump, it was really bad. We had to put a camera down to make sure the well was good and the walls were good. Then we put in a new pump, made sure it was in and ready to go, then have the electric wired up.”
Keith Miller added, the new pump is a three-phase pump with ground FOS Variable Speed Drive, rated to run either 230 three-phase or 120 single-phase, giving future flexibility in options for running the well pump.
The council and town lawyer Eric Jones discussed the status of requests in applying for funding assistance for PFAS testing occurred between the council and Eric Jones.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoralkyl substances) are chemicals that break down very slowly over time and resist grease, oil, water and heat, therefore known as “forever chemicals.” They have been used since the 1940’s and have been used in hundreds of products, including stain- and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, cleaning products, paints and firefighting foams.
According to a 2023 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publication on, the use of PFAS are widespread and found in water, air, fish, soil, and in the blood and people of animals, and are present at low levels in a variety of food products all over the world. To that end, the EPA is conducting studies to identify the risk of harm to human health, part of which includes testing to see how pervasive the chemical is in the environment, and to safeguard communities from PFAS contamination. The EPA’s Office of Water is requiring municipalities like Chugwater to conduct five sample collections for PFAS chemicals between 2023 and 2025. The data collected is under the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule and will give the EPA a more accurate understanding of the frequency and potency 29 PFAS and lithium are found in public water systems. The data will be used by the EPA to make determinations about future regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Chugwater will be conducting the testing – which, as stated at the council meeting is expensive – once each quarter for three years, then as required by the EPA thereafter. To assist with the financial burden of the required testing, the town is seeking to participate in an EPA grant for small communities to offset infrastructure costs of compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act to reduce exposure to PFAS and removing sources of lead.
The town is also inventorying lead and copper pipes throughout the town and has a database nearly complete, and a Consumer Confidence Report has been posted at Town Hall, the website, post office and community center.
Mayor Carol Ash announced the names of candidates for mayor and council positions, stating she was pleased with the number and variety of candidates. “I think this is great news,” she said.
Steve Kelley and Joshua Hopkins will be running for mayor; and David E. Graves, Russell Kirlin, Vicki R. Klein, Josh Hansen, Myra J. Wombaker, and Benjamin V. Glenn, Jr. will run for the two open council positions.
A Flag Day proclamation was read by the mayor, on the request of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) highlighting the importance of the nation’s flag. Wilson said anyone who wants a copy of the flag code can stop by the library. Wilson anyone interested in helping plan events in the community to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the United States can contact her. The DAR and American Legion is sponsoring the America’s 250 committee to celebrate our country’s birthday.
In the library report, Wilson said, since the fiber-optic cable was installed in the building, the computers at the library have seen good use by the community. There have been 26 uses of the computers in the past month, there were 28 books checked out, and 61 patrons. She also invited the community to participate in the summer reading program, “Adventure Begins at Your Library,” and the children’s reading program on June 19th at 1 p.m.
The council meeting was adjourned after an executive session to discuss personnel. The Chugwater Town Council meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at town hall.