Watson Lake couple cry foul over contaminated well
Spills on neighbouring property seeping into groundwater, say Sonja and Thomas 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.
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.