BRUNSWICK — The town has tested water at six residences in Bay Bridge Estates, and plans to do more after a newly uncovered third well, which is pending state approval, goes into service at the mobile home park.
At the Feb. 5 Brunswick Town Council meeting, Town Manager John Eldridge said the town will also be looking into concerns from the Bay Bridge Tenants’ Association about possible elevated levels of arsenic in some of the park’s water.
Councilor Jane Millett said the newly formed association sent the town a “very concerning” note, claiming tests showed one of the wells at the park contained elevated arsenic levels.
The town will follow up on the letter and try to determine which of the park’s wells reflected the high levels of arsenic, Eldridge said.
“We were under the impression that it was from the well that was capped and unearthed,” Eldridge said. “There was also some suggestion that it might have been from one of the existing wells. We are following up with the State of Maine Drinking Water Program (to get) confirmation as to which wells are which, and which one has the elevated arsenic level.”
He added that part of the park owners’ plan in bringing the additional well online is to “provide treatment” to the water.
“We will continue to monitor it because (it’s) clearly a public health issue, a public health concern,” Eldridge said. “There’s been enough confusion and misstatement about what’s taken place down there; I think we need to stay on top of it.”
The updated well, which park owners cited as their “long-term” solution to the water crisis early last month, was dug several years ago and recently uncovered to be repaired and supplement water supply.
While owners await test results and approval from the state, the town continues to truck in water from the Brunswick and Topsham Water District.
Eldrige said the cost to deliver the water, which the town began last month and for which park owners will pay, has reached “somewhere in the $30,000 range.”
Eldridge also said the water testing the town did, using an independent lab, was “far more extensive” than what would typically be done, because officials wanted a detailed report regarding the water quality.
He added that because of the mix of water that is currently present in the system, caused by the addition of the imported water, the town will be testing again.
An email Tuesday evening from the Bay Bridge Estates Tenants’ Association said that of the test results board members have seen, arsenic was the only substance found in levels outside of EPA drinking water limits.
Association Chairwoman Cindy Hughes, Vice Chairman Rodney Doray, Secretary Kelly Pinette, Treasurer Cindy Morgan and Membership Coordinator Marieke Giasson signed the email.
“The letter written to councilors expressed our concern that there is still a lot of confusion about the wells and that we, as residents of Bay Bridge, won’t feel safe until all the facts are known and verified by sources we can trust,” they said.
The board members also said they have been conducting their own investigation of the water situation.
“We’ve been in contact with the Maine Drinking Water Program and have been poring over regulations, safety standards and EPA documents,” the email said. “Obviously, none of us are scientists and none of us are water experts, but we’re putting our collective minds to work.”
Giasson and another Bay Bridge resident, Cindy Morgan, attended the Feb. 5 council meeting and expressed their gratitude to town officials.
“I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to have Mr. Eldridge give us an update and continue to be in great, close communication with us,” Giasson said.
Morgan echoed that sentiment.
“We thank Brunswick and Topsham water district for bringing us clean water that we know is safe,” she said. “We really appreciate the follow-up and hope to learn more and have your continued support.”
Water at Bay Bridge Estates in Brunswick and is being tested for high levels of arsenic.