Is Elgin lagoon water safe?

Elgin_Some citizens of Elgin are in an uproar over the city's water treatment lagoon, but city officials say they're doing all they can at this time.  Citizens say rainwater washed away all the sludge that normally runs through the lagoon, and it seems as if the city is attempting to make some changes.

David Ezell is worried about the safety of kids in the area.  "Our main concern is the fact that there's people that have kids, and they're playing in that creek," he says.  "Is that water safe enough for kids to play in?  I wouldn't want my kids to play in it."  Mayor Larry Thoma says the water in the creek has been tested both upstream as well as downstream.  "We're comfortable that the water is not harmful to aquatic life or to any humans," he says.

7News spotted some turtles camping out on the dock at the lagoon, but some folks aren't convinced of the water's safety - they want it in writing.  Dale Forducey says the Department of Environmental Quality tested the water and told him it was drinkable.  "I asked the gentleman, if it's drinkable? And, he says 'Yes,'" says Forducey.  "And, I says 'Why don't you go ahead and take a drink then, I'll give ya a tub.'  Well, he refused the offer I gave him on that."

Whether the water quality is pure or not is debatable, but Mayor Thoma admits there's a problem.  "[We have] a capacity problem," he says.  "We know that there is a large amount of sewage in our lagoons, and so we've had to discharge."  Thoma says repairing the problem could cost up to $2 Million, and the city doesn't' have time to wait for grants and federal assistance.  To remedy the problem, he says they've raised water fees inside city limits, and they are tacking on an impact fee for new construction.