Read the full article by Erin Noha (Eagle Herald)
“PESHTIGO—The deep wells promised by Johnson Controls Inc./Tyco are going in, with two completely installed.
Andrea Maxwell, a town of Peshtigo resident and the first one to have a well, said the process was simple and will continue to be that way.
‘For 20 years, we don’t have to lift a finger or write a check,’ Maxwell said. ‘I’m going to be in my 80s by then.’
JCI/Tyco has agreed to pay for the wells for 20 years, which includes delivering salt, changing filters and servicing the water softener and reverse osmosis system attached to their sink.
The installation marks the conclusion of four years of her household relying solely on bottled water, supplied to her by JCI/Tyco since her home was located in the Potable Well Sampling Area (PWSA), a collection of 169 drinking water wells that were affected by Tyco’s use of firefighting foam containing PFAS.
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of potentially harmful chemicals used in various household products and industrial processes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human health effects from exposure to low environmental levels of PFAS are uncertain.
She noticed a ‘night and day’ difference from the new water softener—no smell, and it uses less salt. She said she’s still waiting on the results of testing for her reverse osmosis system before drinking it, but she’s not worried.
‘We’re just happy to be done,’ Maxwell said.
The wells are 450 feet deep and tap into a deep aquifer water source used by the cities of Peshtigo and Oconto. This well is not affected by the PFAS contamination from JCI/Tyco, said Katie McGinty, chief sustainability officer in charge of the remediation project. The location of the well is based on the owner’s preference, with the ability to pinpoint exactly where they want it constructed.
‘If mother nature allows us, we’ll be back to work to enable the wells to be put in place,’ McGinty said. ‘The weather is a big factor.’
If the ground is too frozen, the type of construction needed to install the wells can’t happen. Still, McGinty said that 45 residents in the PWSA are on the list to receive a well installed by local construction companies. She expects more to join the list. The wells are free to all residents in the PWSA.
‘We don’t have to turn your whole life upside down in terms of how you’ve always gotten your water—we just need to make a deep well,’ McGinty said.
Tyco spoke with the affected area residents in March, except a few, and more than half wanted to stick with what they’ve always had—a well, McGinty said. The other options were annexation or doing nothing at all. They sent deep well agreements to 101 people, with 68 others currently undergoing annexation paperwork.” …