Janesville44.3°

Well-drilling company to pay $100,000 fine, resample 836 wells

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Catherine W. Idzerda
February 13, 2008
— A local well-drilling company accused of violating state well-drilling laws and Department of Natural Resources rules will pay a $100,000 fine, fix four wells and resample 836 wells.

As part of a settlement, Govert Well & Pump, 5234 N. County F, Janesville, didn’t acknowledge any liability.


A civil complaint filed Feb. 7 in Rock County Court by the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office names the business as a defendant as well as the company president, Martin C. Govert, 6826 S. Bonhoff Road, Brodhead, and the company secretary/treasurer, Andy L. Dunn, Beloit.


According to the complaint, the respondents:


-- Falsified water samples. Wisconsin statutes require water from all new wells to be tested for coliform bacteria.


“On numerous occasions, employees of Govert Well & Pump witnessed water samples being collected from the break room sink, microwaved and then packaged for mailing … Both Govert and Dunn engaged in this activity,” the complaint alleged.


-- Failed to put casing deep enough in four wells on Kentwood Drive in Milton. Casing is the pipe lining that keeps surface contaminants away from the drinking water. The pipe needs to be deep enough to find the safest source of ground water.


The company also didn’t properly install cement grout between the ground and the casing pipe. The cement provides an extra layer of protection against containments.


-- Filed water sample and well construction reports late.


The Attorney General’s Office announced the out-of-court settlement in a news release Tuesday.


The Janesville Gazette was not able to reach Govert or Dunn for a comment.


For homeowners living in the 5300 block of Kentwood Drive in Milton, the settlement will mean new or repaired wells—and a lot of damage to their property.


Justine and Joe Souhrada lived at 5318 Kentwood Drive but recently sold their house.


The Department of Natural Resources contacted the Souhradas and their neighbors early in the investigation.


“We had our well tested, and it was OK,” Justine said. “The well worked fine, it just wasn’t deep enough, I guess.”


The family was able to sell the home without the well being an issue.


The repairs and re-sampling must be done in the next nine months. If the resampling can’t be done within the nine-month period, the company must pay each well owner $50.



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