Communities across the country will be receiving their share of a $105 million class-action lawsuit settlement this month, to help cover the costs of filtering herbicides out of drinking water.
Findlay, Ottawa and Napoleon are a few local communities that had to deal with the herbicide atrazine in their public drinking water. Atrazine is an FDA-approved herbicide used mostly for corn crops, but has been found to run off into the water supply.
Findlay, however, was able to keep atrazine levels below the maximum allowed level of three parts per billion.
"When we'd get a large rain or rain storm, we usually let the river flush by for four or five days," explained Jeff Newcomer, superintendent of Findlay's water treatment plant. "Then we assume all of the runoff is off, or most of it, so then we start pumping back into our reservoirs."
The lawsuit, filed in 2004, was approved by a district court judge. Over 100 communities will receive reimbursement from Syngenta, the makers of atrazine.
Findlay and Ottawa will be receiving over $100,000, and Napoleon received nearly $350,000.
Newcomer said he hopes the decision will help bring more attention to the problems of herbicides in drinking water.
"Make the people who [are] applying it be a little more restrictive on what they apply," he suggested. "Or read the directions, and do the proper amount…It's always bothered me that they were allowed to put this in, and then we have to find a way to take it out, because it ultimately costs the city of Findlay's people who pay their water and sewer bills."
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