The Elm Point Wellfield serves as the primary drinking water supply to the City of St. Charles. Three businesses located within the Elm Point Wellfield are responsible for releasing chemicals into the ground threatening the City of St. Charles water supply. In the face of these threats, the City of St. Charles has committed significant resources to ensure that the public has safe drinking water. Since 2006, the City of St. Charles has shut down four drinking water wells due to the presence of these harmful chemicals. These actions have provided a temporary solution to the problem; however, a long-term solution is still necessary, and the City has been seeking relief from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and the responsible businesses.
Elm Point Wellfield
The Elm Point Wellfield is located in the area of Huster Road and extends from Elm Point Road north past Missouri State Route 370. The City of St. Charles maintains a network of seven drinking water wells within the Elm Point Wellfield. The seven wells are capable of producing more than six million gallons of water per day. However, four of the drinking water wells have been shut down by the City of St. Charles, including two wells in 2022, as a result of chemicals being released into groundwater from three properties located within the Elm Point Wellfield.
• Well CW-4 was shut down in 2005
• Well CW-5 was shut down in 2011
• Well CW-6 was shut down in 2022
• Well CW-8 was shut down in 2022
While shutting down these wells has ensured that the drinking water remains safe to the public, it has reduced the ability of the City of St. Charles to meet the current demands for drinking water and forced the City to purchase additional drinking water from the City of St. Louis.
Findett Service Company and Cadmus Corporation
In 1962, the Findett Service Company (Findett) began operations reprocessing heat transfer fluids, hydraulic fluids, solvents, and catalysts. In 1973, the catalyst business formed a separate business entity, Cadmus Corporation (Cadmus), which continued to operate at the same location. An unlined pond that received hot residues from the recycling processes was situated on the boundary between the Findett and Cadmus properties. In 1977 and again in 1981, the unlined pond was drained, contaminated soil was removed from the bottom of the pond, and the soil transported off site for disposal. The properties owned by Findett and Cadmus, as well as an approximately 50-acre area to the north and east is collectively referred to as the Hayford Bridge Superfund Site.
The Huster Road Electrical Power Substation was developed in 1963 and consists of an approximate 4-acre property within the Elm Point Wellfield. The substation is located northeast of the Findett and Cadmus properties. In 2011, laboratory analysis of groundwater samples collected within the Elm Point Wellfield indicated the presence of chemicals beneath the northwest corner of the substation extending towards Missouri Route 370. Additional soil and groundwater sampling conducted in 2012 confirmed the presence of hazardous chemicals beneath the substation property, as well as the area north of the property.