IDEM: Andrews water ‘safe to drink’ only after town takes specific steps

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ANDREWS, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has informed the town of Andrews steps that need to be taken in order for the “Do Not Drink” advisory to be lifted.

Residents in the Huntington County town were informed last week not to use water because it may be unsafe. The Huntington County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office said a test revealed that the water contained contaminants above Federal Safe Drinking Water Standards.

IDEM collected drinking water samples at Andrews Water Department June 22 after the “Do Not Drink” advisory was issued days earlier. According to a letter released by the agency, an independent contract lab was hired to test the samples.

Nine samples were submitted for emergency rush analysis.

Most of the drinking water samples were below the maximum contaminant level specified in the Safe Drinking Water Act, the report said. However, Well 1, one of three wells, was deemed unsafe. As a result IDEM requested that Well 1 “be taken offline immediately and not used to supply water,” according to the report.

Based on the results the Town of Andrews may cancel their “Do Not Drink” advisory after confirming in writing that Well 1 is not being used and that a system wide flush has been completed.

IDEM also indicated that the Andrews Water Department needs to develop an operational plan for Well 1 to ensure it delivers safe water when an emergency situation requires its use. The water department also needs to contact IDEM prior to using Well 1.

WANE 15 has reached out to the town of Andrews for comment.

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