Island Lake Neighbors of the Inoperative Well Fear Ground Water Contamination

Island Lake has argued that Bob Wargaski’s pig farm should not be allowed near their well.

The well, however, is just a test well and test wells are supposed to be sealed after they are drilled.

Island Lake has not done so and now nearby neighbors are worried that the pesticides and herbicides used for decades on the farm field may be working themselves down the ungrouted well shaft in their water supply.

Presumably because of the hot political natured of the situation, neither the Lake County Health Department nor the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have done anything about the apparent violation of state law.

The neighbors have banded together to send the following letter to Governor Rod Blagojevich:

November 6, 2008

Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Blagojevich,

We, the neighbors of Island Lake, residing in unincorporated Wauconda Township, Lake County, IL are writing to you regarding a test well drilled by the Village of Island Lake. This well was drilled October 4, 2006, and to date has never been grouted, sealed, or used in two years, thus displaying a feckless consideration of our groundwater.

On May 13 2008, the IEPA granted a permit to make this a production well, even though it is non-compliant with any and all applicable regulations. In the Island lake construction application of the “as built” test well, the village engineer states that this well could be abandoned in the future.

To date, no work has been done on this ungrouted, unsealed well since October 2006, at which time this well had been effectively abandoned. We are perspicacious in our belief that this open well poses a contamination danger to the aquifer, putting our own private wells in danger, if they are not already contaminated. There are 13 private wells within 1/3 mile, with the closest well only 280 feet away, all at the same depth and in the same aquifer as the Village’s test well.

Our attempt to communicate with the village has been met with truculent defiance by a vainglorious mayor and board while we, the affected neighbors just outside the Village corporate limits, are treated as dunderheads and jackanapes. Their ultimate response to having been caught violating their zoning Ordinances on the location of the well, has been the passage of an unconstitutional text amendment, changing then-current ordinances after the fact.

Contacts with the Lake County Health Department as well as Illinois Department of Health have been lugubrious.

The Minimum Standard for Illinois Water Well Construction Code has not been met.
This is a clear violation of the Groundwater Protection Act.

This well casing is located in an old farm field on the side of a hill within 30 feet of a wetland on Dowell Road just south of Darrell Road.

We, the adjacent citizens of this well residing in Wauconda Township demand our ground water be protected and that all applicable federal and state laws be followed.

We are posting this letter on the local blog and will post all responses as well as lack of response from our State officials.

Enclosed is a synopsis of the ongoing events, as well as a picture of the abandoned, un-grouted well casing.

We would like the following:

1) Our water tested free of charge

2) To know why the codes and laws were not followed

3) What you intend to do about these violations

4) Immediate removal of the casing and sealing of the hole, as any attempt of grouting at this juncture will not meet codes.

Very truly yours,

Signatures on the following pages.

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