FRENCH ISLAND, Wis. (WXOW) – Kathy and Joe Weitekamp’s well water tested at 25.4% for PFAS contamination, but since they aren’t in the City of La Crosse’s test zone they did not qualify for free temporary drinking water.
The couple paid for their own test and reported the results to the Town of Campbell who helped them contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Once the DNR confirmed with the City of La Crosse that the Weitekamp’s lived outside of their designated investigation, the DNR then started paying and delivering gallons of drinking water to the house.
The couple is frustrated with communication between the City of La Crosse and the Town of Campbell.
“The city keeps saying they want to collaborate and they want to work together,” Kathy said. “‘Why are we going against them?’ But the Town of Campbell has contacted them numerous times with no responses or very extended periods of time with their responses.”
“It’s surprising that with this PFAS contamination that safe drinking water has not been identified more quickly to be a priority,” Town of Campbell supervisor Lee Donahue said.
She continued that people who can afford the $425.00 testing fee report their results to the Town of Campbell clerk’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“That really helps the DNR,” Lee said. “They are trying to issue a health advisory but they can’t do that with the Department of Health unless they have concrete data.”
Kathy and Joe said they’re thankful for Donahue’s work, but that La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat should share more information.
“If you really want to work together with us, work together with us so we can get a full picture,” Kathy said. “On the Town of Campbell website where we have areas mapped out… It’s only because residents have been courteous to let the Town of Campbell know. That’s the only results that the Town of Campbell knows because the rest are not being shared.”
Mayor Kabat’s office said he’ll be open to an interview once their investigation is complete.
French Island residents can get free water donated by Hy-Vee, Kwik Trip, and CVS Thursday afternoon.
INFORMATON AND PREVIOUS WXOW COVERAGE ON THE PFAS ISSUE
City of La Crosse PFAS information
Town of Campbell PFAS information
DNR investingation into Town of Campbell PFAS contamination
DNR PFAS information website
DNR issues drinking water advisory to French Island residents
Hy-Vee, Kwik Trip, CVS donating bottled water to Town of Campbell residents
Some French Island families with high PFAS levels don’t qualify for free drinking water from the City of La Crosse
City of La Crosse sues foam-makers over PFAS pollution
Local leaders say state budget is biggest hope for PFAS help
Community near PFAS contamination site needs more bottled water
La Crosse Mayor responds to Campbell PFAS issue
“Are we in imminent danger?” Town of Campbell addresses PFAS concerns
UPDATED: Legal action taken on French Island PFAS contamination issue
Kabat addresses PFAS findings and how La Crosse moves forward
Environmental research group looks to expand PFAS study
PFAS found in two City of La Crosse municipal wells
PFAS contamination at La Crosse Regional Airport
PFAS bill heading to the Governors desk
Digging Deeper: La Crosse well contamination
Digging Deeper: PFAS water contamination
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