Murky Roachdale pollution issue begins to clear up
ROACHDALE -- Last month the Indiana Department of Environmental Management found disturbing pollution information about a creek and pond on the north side of Roachdale.
When the storm drain beneath Crop Production Services was blocked, the pollution stopped and the pond, filled with algae, had cleared.
IDEM tested samples of a mysterious white substance that was found in a drain that flowed into the creek.
These tests revealed high ammonia concentrations, which they said was caused by fertilizer from CPS getting into the storm sewer.
With the drain blocked, a heavy rainfall flooded a nearby home on May 1. This water was a diluted version that came from the same pool of contaminated water trapped beneath CPS.
At that time CPS said it had gotten results from its own test that showed E. coli in the water. This would likely be caused by the town sanitary sewer leaking into the storm sewer, though has not been confirmed by IDEM or the town.
CPS has been cooperative with IDEM. The town, IDEM spokesman Barry Sneed said, "is working to address sanitary and storm sewer issues."
CPS and town representatives failed to return phone calls for this story.
The drain is still closed and it is unknown when it will be reopened or if CPS has taken any action to resolve any problems with their facility that led to the fertilizer pollution.
IDEM has said that the town and CPS are working together to deal with the drain issue.
Roachdale and CPS are working on separating the drainage flow, Sneed said. The maze of drain pipes beneath the CPS facility made it difficult to track the pollution and determine what was responsible for it.
In addition, CPS and the town have installed a submersible pump near the home that flooded to make sure the drain stays low, even during heavy rain.
There have been no issues reported since the sump pump was installed.
CPS, which pumps the water out from the basin under its facility, is storing the contaminated water in tanks on-site until it can be determined how best to dispose of it.
IDEM is waiting on results for pesticide and insecticide tests done on the sample.