ANDREWS, Ind. (WANE) – Many citizens of Andrews, Indiana are entrenched in a court case against several companies for chemicals in their town’s drinking water.

While the plaintiffs may be able to wait for the longwinded machine of justice to churn out results, likely years down the line, the town doesn’t have that luxury.

“We know it’s been there, we know it’s an issue, we know that no amount of this poison is good for you,” said Andrews Town Council President John Harshbarger.

Harshbarger served on the Town Council throughout 2020’s water crisis in which The Huntington County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office advised residents to not drink the town’s water due to high levels of vinyl chloride.

The levels were so high that a past notice from the town of Andrews from June 19, 2020 claimed the water had ten times the safe limit per the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.

But for the first time, the town is hopeful that a real plan could provide its residents with safe drinking water.

“I hope in the end they’ll (residents) have clean water and they can stop worrying about what they’re drinking,” Harshbarger said. “I am excited at the possibility of having clean water,”

The Town of Andrews started a plan orchestrating local and regional help to bring water in from Huntington, less than ten miles away.

“I think the most direct option would be a water line that runs out from the city’s (Huntington) infrastructure to the town’s (Andrews) infrastructure,” said Huntington Mayor Richard Strick.

But Huntington and Andrews aren’t the only ones playing ball. State Senator Andy Zay, who represents the 17th district, has also been in discussions to get the project off the ground.

“It’s been a long time coming as you know and the public well knows,” Zay said. “This will be a permanent resolution for the water side of it.”

Zay told WANE 15 the water supply side of it has been figured out, which means that billing and infrastructure are all that lay in the path of clean water flowing through Andrews’ pipes.

As for billing, Mayor Strick is looking for a solution that is friendly to all rate-payers.

“Any potential solution needs to deliver safe drinking water to Andrews ratepayers and needs to do so without adding to the rates of current Huntington ratepayers,” Strick said. “I also know it needs to be sustainable for Andrews residents.”

And on the infrastructure side of things, Andrews needs time and money to fix its current public water pipes before it can receive clean water.

“No matter which avenue we go down, we have to improve our infrastructure on the distribution system,” Harshbarger said. “We have water loss in our system. We know that we have bad water lines, but there’s also the lead pipe situation.”

Harshbarger said grants and other sources of funding are the first steps to addressing the problems before coming to an agreement with Huntington.