The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

May 12, 2014

Geologist: Reservoir would affect area ground water

Hundreds listen to environmental concerns

CHESTERFIELD – Hydrogeologist Anthony Fleming said the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir will act like a “leaking bath tub" if constructed.

Unlike other reservoirs constructed in Indiana, Fleming said, the sides of the proposed reservoir would consist of sand and gravel and allow water to flow back into the surrounding groundwater aquifers.

He said that water flowing away from the reservoir will affect septic systems and buildings with basements.

Fleming was one of a group of panelists who discussed potential problems with the reservoir project at a public meeting Monday evening at the Millcreek Civic Center.

He said the thousands of the existing wells in the area of the proposed reservoir could allow any contaminants from abandoned dumps and landfills that could impact the quality of groundwater in Madison County.

State Sen. Tim Lanane of Anderson asked Fleming if lining the reservoir with an impenetrable layer would be cost prohibitive.

“It would be costly,” Fleming said. “I don’t know if it would be prohibitive.”

Approximately 200 people attended the educational meeting hosted by the Heart of the River Coalition.

The Anderson/Madison County Corporation for Economic Development is proposing construction of a $450 million reservoir project that will dam the White River in the area around the Mounds Mall and extend to Yorktown. Proponents are awaiting the results of a Phase II environmental study that was funded with a $600,000 state grant.

The Heart of the River Coalition was formed in April 2013 after the proposed reservoir plans were announced, spokeswoman Marian Berky said.

“After extensive review we announced our opposition,” Berky said. “We believe it is not in the best interest of our community.”

The group believes it threatens the ecology of the White River, undermines the Mounds State Park and displaces many residents.

“When I heard of the proposed reservoir near the Anderson Mounds, I was shocked,” Donald Cochran, an archaeologist, said. “I have been researching the mounds for 30 years and they are some of the best preserved sites in the country.”

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