Jackson residents still dealing with gas spill, seven months later

CREATED Feb 18, 2013

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JACKSON - Tempers have settled since the last public information meeting in the Town of Jackson. Now neighbors are simply exhausted.

It’s been seven months since a West Shore pipeline ruptured, spilling nearly 55,000 gallons of gasoline in a farm pasture.

Monday night hundreds packed a high school gymnasium to hear what the state Department of Natural Resources and West Shore Pipeline have in mind for a long term solution to safe water.

“It’s been difficult,“ said Jane Greseth.

The spill has turned Greseth’s life upside down. Her home is wedged between three others that now have contaminated wells. She said her day to day life now is "Interesting and very different.”

For months now, Greseth has lived with a temporary water treatment system in her home, still unable to use water from her well.

“You have to get bottles of water to rinse lettuce for a salad," she said. "You want to make baked potatoes you got to get a bowl of water to wash your potatoes. Everything you want to do takes twice as long.”

Monday night the DNR laid out options for a long term plan to restore residents' water.

"The Department of Natural Resources doesn’t have one specific option, we’ve listed three that we’re comfortable with,” explained Eric Nitschke, Southeast Regional Director for the agency.

Those options include tapping into the town or village of Jackson’s water utility. A study found digging new private wells is too risky.

Jane Greseth isn’t happy with that idea. She moved to her location for the land and a private well. She has thousands of dollars in landscaping requiring thousands of gallons of water a week.

“I will be required to get city water and quite frankly I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it if I’m going to maintain my landscaping,” she said.

The DNR hopes to have a final plan in place by the end of March. The town board will have a say in what that decision is.