Watson Lake couple cry foul over contaminated well

Sonja and Thomas Rueck say the Yukon Government hasn't listened to their concerns about a neighbouring junkyard. The couple says toxic fluid from that property has seeped in and contaminated their well water.

Spills on neighbouring property seeping into groundwater, say Sonja and Thomas Rueck

Sonja Rueck says her neighbours property has contaminated her well water in Watson Lake, Yukon. She says the water smells and tastes like gasoline. (courtesy of Sonja Rueck)

A Watson Lake, Yukon, couple say toxic fluids from a junkyard next door have seeped in and contaminated their groundwater well. 

Sonja Rueck and her husband Thomas want the area cleaned up and they say the Yukon Government hasn't done anything about it for two years.   

Environment Yukon says it responded to the Ruecks' complaint of a spill at the property in July 2013. It says a spill order was issued, demanding the property owner clean up the spill.  

Sonja and Thomas Rueck are concerned about contaminates from this property seeping into their well water. (courtesy of Sonja Rueck)

They say contractors who showed up last summer to do the job just made it worse.​

"They produced even a bigger mess," says Sonja Rueck. "I mean they spilled all kinds of fluids all over the place and yeah, that was really, really bad."

At the time the couple feared those spills would contaminate their well water. Earlier this month, Sonja Rueck says those fears came true.

"[The water] smells like when you drive into a gas station, and tastes like gas, diesel or coolants, that anti-freeze stuff," she says.

Sonja Rueck says she was told Yukon Environment would only assist them if their well water was contaminated.

"But now that it is, they don't do anything," Rueck says.

Officials at Environment Yukon say they are investigating. They're now waiting for test results to find out if the well water is in fact contaminated and what might have caused it.