Holmes County Possible Water Contamination

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

A number of Holmes County residents are complaining of muddy water coming from their wells and they believe it's more than just mud that's getting in their water source.

After sudden illness and a large amount of livestock deaths, residents in Pine Log, Florida believe it's more than coincidence.

Some neighbors within a half-mile radius are noticing a change in their water, and it seems the problem is growing.

Imagine taking a bath in muddy water.

That's what at least two residents in the pine log community have been dealing with on and off for the past year.

But recently, five more neighbors have come forward with the same problem.

And they are starting to think there's more in the water than just mud.

One Pine Log resident, Larry Salyer says, "I've lost 14 baby calves. They get e-coli in them. I know that because I sent the tissue samples to Elba to the lab. I've got one horse that's already died--a racehorse mare. I got another racehorse mare that won't gain any weight. And I had surgery on August 31st for colon cancer and I still have open sores about 94 days later. I've still got sores not knowing I was taking a bath in the dirty water."

Larry Salyer believes the problem is coming from a lot just a few feet away from his property.

A building on Highway 81, just down the street from Salyer was a filling station back in the 1940's. It’s been closed for the past few decades but there has been drilling on this property and neighbors say they believe the drilling is what's caused their water to be contaminated.

But so far, neither the department of environmental protection nor the county health department cannot connect any kind of bacterial contamination to the building.

And they're still waiting for lab test results on the neighbor's well samples.

Holmes County health department environmental director, Jackie Parker said, "We're not sure if it's individual wells or just a fluke that it may be in 2 wells at the same area or if it's actually a correlation with a third source."

So far, the department of environmental protection has installed filters at two of the neighbors’ wells.

Their water is running clear again, but the lab results for bacterial contamination will determine the next step

The Holmes County Health Department should get those lab results back in the next few days.

If tested positive for bacteria, the wells may be chlorinated or flushed and the residents will continue to use the filters.

There is no boil water notice in effect yet, but anyone around the Pine Log area with questions about their water, should call the Holmes County Health Department at 547-8500.


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