Water filtration installation complete in Jackson, website launched

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JACKSON -- West Shore Pipe Line Company has completed installation of water filtration devices in homes of all residents affected by the Wisconsin DNR "Flush-Only Advisory" -- following a pipeline leak in a gasoline line that transports fuel from Chicago to Green Bay. The concern now is groundwater runoff -- and officials have launched a website in an attempt to keep the public informed as to this ongoing situation.

The initial gas pipeline burst and spill occurred back on July 17th.

On July 31st, residents filled the Jackson Community Center, where residents attempted to quell fears after several private wells in the spill area tested positive for high levels of benzene. That's when West Shore Pipe Line Company issued Flush-Only and Drinking Water advisories to some Jackson residents.

West Shore Pipe Line continues to offer hotel accommodations for individuals impacted by the Flush-Only Advisory for the duration of the advisory, and the company will continue to provide water to affected residents while the Wisconsin DNR Drinking Water and Flush-Only Advisories remain in effect.

The West Shore Pipe Line company said about 7,000 tons of contaminated soil was removed at the site of the gas leak, and a company spokesman said crews are ready to bring in clean soil. They're also continuing to test water samples.

The problem now is groundwater runoff from unsafe drinking water areas flowing away from the leak area, outside the designated restriction areas as established by West Shore Pipe Line Company.

Despite this finding, however, the DNR has not changed the boundaries of the water restriction areas. The DNR says it is monitoring the situation, but at this time did not rule water use in areas outside the restriction zones unsafe.

West Shore Pipe Line is developing a remediation plan, based on field analytical data, which will be submitted to the Wisconsin DNR for review and approval. This plan will include an alternative, long-term water supply solution.

In a statement released Thursday, August 9th, West Shore Pipeline Company said the Company is taking the following specific actions to remediate the impact of the gasoline release:

  • Removing petroleum-impacted groundwater
  • Ongoing testing of drinking water wells, including the area outside the Wisconsin DNR’s Flush-Only Advisory area
  • Delivering potable water to impacted residents (including bottled water)
  • Drilling monitoring wells in the surrounding area to determine ongoing environmental remediation needs
  • Monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality in the area of the release

While crews begin the remediation plan, residents in Flush-Only Advisory zones gathered at Kettle Moraine Lutheran for dinner and to stock up on bottled water.

Gladys Oestreich and her husband Richard are in the Flush Only Advisory zone. They say not being able to use water at home has been an adjustment.

"We're satisfied, but they said it could be a long time before we're cleared. We put plastic bags over the faucets so we're not tempted to do it -- kind of a reminder," the Oestreich's said.

The Oestreich's say they're trying to stay patient as they wait for their home to be cleared of any contamination.

At this time, there is no word on if and when the DNR could change the restricted water zones due to groundwater runoff.

A website has been established where Jackson residents can find additional information.

CLICK HERE to access the website.

The West Shore Pipe Line Company has opened a claims center for residents affected by the pipeline leak in Jackson. It’s an opportunity for homeowners affected by the leak to get face-to-face help.

Claims can be made at the center — which has been set up at the Comfort Inn at W227 N16890 Tillie Lake Court in Jackson. The center will be open daily from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Affected residents can also call the claims hotline at 866-837-5016. Operators will also be available from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily.

Anyone who filed will be contacted by an adjuster, who will go through each claim.

The claims center and hotline will help residents with:

  • Answering claim questions
  • Submitting claims
  • Arranging bottled water deliveries for residents within the Wisconsin DNR’s Drinking Water Advisory area
  • Obtaining information on filtration system installations for affected wells
  • Placing a request to have West Shore arrange local hotel accommodations for residents within the Wisconsin DNR’s Flush Only Advisory area

Residents within the Wisconsin DNR’s Drinking Water Advisory area may also obtain bottled water directly from the claims center.

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