School gets filter system for MTBEtainted

ROSELAWN, IN — Filters to remove gas additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from Lincoln Elementary School and Generations Center's drinking water are being installed at the facility.

Crews from Peerless-Midwest Water Co. were working around the clock to install two specially designed carbon-filter tanks, each 6 feet high by 4 feet wide, that use activated charcoal to remove MTBE that has been contaminating the school's drinking water for at least two years, the Times Online reported.

The contamination became public earlier this year, causing the school to switch to bottled water.

Boezeman Oil Co., located one-third of a mile south of the school, has been determined as the principal source of the contamination, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).  Boezeman is footing the bill for the filtration system, which will cost more than $60,000, plus another $10,000-$20,000 in installation and testing costs, Boezeman attorney Chris Braun told WaterTechOnline.

School Principal Tim Mitchell said in the article that the school's entire water system will be flushed, and then samples will be taken continuously until the water shows there are no traces of MTBE left.  The water will be tested to make sure it is safe for the school's 400 students to drink when they return to classes, Mitchell said, according to the Times.  Testing will be conducted by Mundell & Associates, Indianapolis, Boezeman's environmental consultant, and will be overseen by IDEM, Mitchell said.


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Edited from Tech Bank 8/20/02