Butler County family’s water still contaminated with oil, permanent fix costs $3.5M

BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) – This fall, FactFinder told the story of a family southwest of Augusta that found oil mixed in their water. They didn’t have help until our investigation.

In early November, a second property owner in the area reported the same problem.

For Jenna Krob and her family, help finally arrived to address their situation, but there are still no permanent solutions. Three months after the contamination came to light, the family remains without their own water and frustration continues with seemingly the lone permanent solution costing millions.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) are pointing fingers at who is responsible with that permanent fix in sight, but the cost to get it out of reach.

“The permanent answer needs to be rural water,” Krob said.

In a Dec. 27 email, KDHE says the KCC “has exclusive authority to regulate oil and gas activities; including the prevention and cleanup of pollution to soils and waters of the state from oil and gas activities.” KDHE goes on to say it’s up to the KCC to decide on a long-term solution.

So far, Krob said she’s not in favor of KCC’s remedy.

“The KCC is telling me to live out of an eventual holding tank,” she said. “It would still not be 100% that we wouldn’t get contamination again. That’s not the answer.”

As is, the only guaranteed fix is rural water. But the area where Krob and her family live, southwest of Augusta, isn’t served by a rural water district. And with a price tag of $3.5 million for that service to be possible, no one is ready to pay for it. It’s a situation impacting more than the family.

“This is not just me. This is a community,” Krob said.

The second property owner in the area that reached out to FactFinder to report oil in his wells continues waiting for help.

“The KCC doesn’t have the money, KDHE and the rural water company don’t have the money. I need to talk to somebody in legislation and talk with the governor or whoever I need to talk to,” Krob said.

Until rural water becomes a realistic option from a financial standpoint, Krob and her family will keep living as they have. After FactFinder’s first story on the issue with oil contaminated the water supply, Vess Oil provided Krob and her family with a mobile home and supplied them with a clean water source. It’s not a situation the family wants to be in, but it is one that at least allows them to remain on their land.

“We’re still living out of the five-gallon jugs. We’re still taking showers over at the mobile home, then we run back over here,” Krob said. “It’s hard living out of both houses and running clothes back and forth.

This article was originally published by a www.kwch.com . Read the Original article here. .