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Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018 12:06 am

Drink PERRIER

We’re doomed. Well, maybe not doomed, but nonetheless in a heap of trouble, thanks to a heap of coal ash from the city’s power plant that’s built up next to Lake Springfield. That’s the takeaway from a report released this week by the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network and other usual environmentalist suspects who have pulled together a report based on data compiled by utilities statewide on coal ash dumps. Coal ash dumps have contaminated groundwater at sites across the state, including one that City Water, Light and Power manages. The city has stopped dumping ash in unlined ponds near the lake that’s the source of the city’s drinking water, but what’s already there is worrisome enough, enviros say. Levels of boron and sulfate in monitoring wells exceed safe thresholds, according to the report, and arsenic levels in one monitoring well have been 20 times higher than what’s considered safe. It gets worse: According to the report, testing by CWLP can’t detect arsenic at levels less than 25 micrograms per milliliter, which is above a 10-microgram threshold that report’s authors say is safe, so arsenic contamination might be more significant than testing has shown. Yikes.

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