Toxic plume moving faster than expected

Linda Gallagher, Associate Editor

Courtesy photo

Jeff and Rachel Krino, of Bellaire, are pictured with their children, Emmett, 6, (left) and Owen, 8, on a recent family outing. The Krinos are grateful for the presence of MAWSA water lines in front of their home near Shanty Creek Resorts, which they hooked up to last summer to ensure a safe and reliable source of water as the toxic TCE plume continues to move west.

REGION – Jeff and Rachel Krino never imagined they'd have to deal with having a contaminated water source when they moved north in the fall of 2003.

"After growing up in the Pittsburgh, Pa. area where you couldn't swim in the Ohio River because of coal mine runoff, our goal was to move somewhere where the water was clean and safe for the children we hoped to have," said Rachel Krino.

But, as Krino said, "Looks can be deceiving."

Like many others before them, the couple fell in love with the Bellaire area and decided to buy a home just east of Shanty Creek Resorts a year later.

By that time, they had heard about the expanding Mancelona toxic TCE plume that has contaminated hundreds of water wells since its discovery in the 1990s, and did their home buying accordingly.

"We did all the research and chose our house because it wasn't in the projected path of the plume – or even close to it," she said.

But 13 years later, the Krino family, which now includes two children, are hooked up to the Mancelona Area Water System and no longer drink or bathe in water from their own well because the plume – of potentially lethal trichloroethylene leaked into the ground by indiscriminate disposal of degreasers at a Mancelona factory in the mid-20th century – is now located under their home. 

The couple hooked up to the clean water, which is pumped from wells east of Mancelona, last summer.

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