Harg Treatment Plant to Open Later

9 years 6 months 2 days ago March 29, 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 6:14:31 PM CDT in News

That delay worries some area residents, such as Kaytee Blassie, who said she won't drink water from the well.

"They say it causes cancer in grown people, but what's it going to do to a woman who is pregnant, her unborn child?" she asked.

The water has radiological particles from rocks where the well was built. The water could change the cells' genetic makeup of people who drink it. If cells become abnormal, a person could contract cancer. Experts said radioactive levels would cause only long-term, not short-term, problems.

Boone County Public Water Supply has asked for more time to fix the problem, which also upsets Blassie.

"I think they've been given ample enough time to fix it," she added. "I don't understand why they'd need more."

A new housing development will add hundreds of customers in the water district, which said it is taking steps to decrease the risk.

"We're running the wells less so that the customer's exposure to the higher rate of radionuclides is less," said Roger Ballew of Boone County Public Water Supply.

The Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology said the usual level of radium in water would cause one out of a million people to die after drinking it for 70 years. Harg's water has almost twice the usual level of radium.

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