Andover homeowners share concerns about lack of information on contaminated water

Betsy Berg has lived in the Red Oaks neighborhood of Andover, Minn. for decades, drinking the water there for the last 43 years.  

For weeks, her family has been forced to use bottled water after high levels of the harmful chemical dioxane were detected in her well water. 

"Anything over 1.0 is high, and we tested at 9.6. What has it done to my health or my child’s health or my husband's health?" Berg said. 

Her neighbor's water was even worse. 

"The first value I heard of was 1700 of parts per billion," Monika Dipert said. 

They're among a group that's frustrated with the lack of answers and information they have received on the contamination. State and city leaders held a community meeting Thursday evening to hear those concerns. 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was conducting routine water sampling near a closed waste disposal landfill when the chemical was discovered earlier this year. 

map marking contaminated areas

The map shows the groundwater investigation area, which is located just southwest of the WDE landfill site in Andover, Minn. The contaminated water has only been found in homes with private residential wells, and not in the city's municipal water sup (MN Pollution Control Agency)

It's only been found in homes with private residential wells near Bunker Lake Blvd and Crosstown Blvd, and not in the city's municipal water supply.

Scientists still haven't identified the source of the contamination. The MPCA is now conducting a study looking at connecting the impacted homes to the city's water supply. 

The agency says people with unsafe contamination levels have been notified and will receive bottled water. 

The steps being taken aren't enough for Berg and Dipert, who say they need to know what the long and short-term plans are to ensure their water is safe. 

"Now, we’re at eight weeks away. So, my question is, where is the rest of our testing? What else is in our water?" Berg said.