Sangerville Neighbors Worry About Water 

Several East Sangerville residents who have similar health problems think contaminated well water could be to blame.Their concerns spurred state officials today to re-test groundwater in a nearby gravel pit for heavy metals.”If I have lead in my water, I’ll take care of it. If it’s in my system, I’ll take care of it,” says resident Dyann Chase. “But, just make people aware that this is happening, that’s the only thing I want to see come of it.”She says her late husband suffered from dementia before he passed away last fall. She doesn’t know if it’s related to similar health issues shared by her neighbors.”When they spread the sludge, the ash and whatever else around, no one was notified. That bothers me I guess more than anything,” she says.An experimental sludge-spreading project was carried out in the late nineties at the nearby Barrett gravel pit. “I remember when they laid that material in the pit,” says resident Jake Jordan. “I wasn’t sure at the time what it was, but we were told that it was harmless.”A state official taking samples from monitoring wells referred our questions to a DEP director. Those calls were not returned. Officials have said it’s unlikely heavy metals leaked into area well water or are to blame for the health issues.”A lot of people don’t want to stand up and say that they’re sick,” says resident Edward Palin. “But all of us are very similar here and it’s very peculiar that over 20 people in this small radius have very similar symptoms, cognitive, Alzheimers, dementia.”He says people didn’t start making the connections until one neighbor spoke up and the story was reported in the Bangor Daily News.”I’m angry for a couple of reasons. One, they never contacted us that there was a test site so close to our house,” Palin says.Folks here say they’re not blaming anyone until they have the facts.”I’m not pointing my finger at anybody,” Chase says.Jordan lives on the west side of the pit. “I’m going to test my well, anyway,” he says.