Atrazine lawsuit settled
A water quality test result in June 2011 in Marion showed unacceptable levels of coliform bacteria, but a subsequent test showed the original test was a false positive, Marion Utilities Superintendent Marty Fredrickson said Tuesday after the release of the city’s annual water testing report.
The sample was taken from an outdoor spigot at Marion City Library, which likely hadn’t been used for quite a while before the test, Fredrickson said. A retest was done after the water lines around the spigot had the old water flushed out. The retest results came back clean, he said.
Testing also showed levels of aluminum and corrosivity above the suggested maximum contaminant load in the city’s water system. The level of aluminum was 0.14 milligrams per liter; the suggested limit is 0.05 milligrams per liter.
Corrosivity was 0.017 on the Langelier corrosivity index, compared to the suggested limit of 0. A positive corrosivity index indicates water may leave carbonate residue in pipes and water fixtures. The index ranges from -5 (strongly corrosive) to +4 (strongly coating).
A class-action lawsuit over water contamination by Atrazine herbicide was settled in late May by manufacturer Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. The City of Marion was part of the class-action suit.
The settlement was $105 million. Local news outlets in Illinois, where the case was heard, reported the attorneys for the plaintiffs received about $35 million in fees.
Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin said he was aware of the settlement but didn’t know precisely what affect the settlement would have for the city.