By LYNN HAMILTON
Mayor Tom Arthur called a press conference this afternoon to inform the public that Brazil's well field will be shut down for 12 hours beginning at 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Citizens are asked to be conservative with their water usage during this time.
This morning, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) contacted Arthur and suggested that, due to a chemical spill in Putnam County, the city should shut down the well field to avoid contamination.
According to Samuel Moore, owner of Samuel Moore Engineering, IDEM has "been monitoring it since probably last night," but "no one has identified" the chemical or the exact location of the spill. The chemical is thought to be an herbicide. "We heard at first that it was green in color," said Jacob Raubuch of the Water Treatment Plant.
Moore, who is coordinating with IDEM on investigation, said that Brazil "probably won't be affected," but it would be "best to let it go on downstream."
The city has five wells in operation, all about 60 feet deep, which will continue to pump water overnight. There are about 2 million gallons stored, which could, if necessary, last up to 24 hours.
Arthur has contacted all area volunteer fire departments, who will be on call until the situation is resolved. In case of a fire emergency, water can be drained from the reservoir at Craig Park.
Arthur added that towns surrounding Brazil, such as Carbon and Center Point, that the city provides with water will also be affected.
No plans have been made yet concerning what the city will do if the water must be shut off for longer than 24 hours. Right now, the water department plans to go ahead with shutting off the well field and awaiting further instruction from IDEM.