GLEN MILLS, Pa. (CBS) — The nightmare continues for a Delaware County family battling a pipeline project. It all started with a picture of brown water in their bathtub.
This is not a normal life — that’s what John and Erica Tarr say when describing the quality of water that flows from their tap.READ MORE: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
“It’s been so long that we’ve been living like this, and it’s just not fair to us, it’s not fair to my child,” Erica said.
The Glen Mills couple has been at odds with Sunoco’s Energy Transfer, the company installing the Mariner East 2 pipeline 1,000 feet behind their home.
A Glen Mills family argues their wells were fouled by construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. The water is too caustic for treatment systems. But Energy Transfer says they’re not responsible. The DEP’s response is they’re still investigating. Story @ 4:30 @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/2125kyTAy1
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) May 5, 2021
They claim the project fouled two wells, explaining testing showed the presence of volatile organic compounds.
“During their construction is when our first original well, the water quality changed,” John said.
Eyewitness News first introduced you to the family 16 months ago after Erica snapped an image of her daughter sitting briefly in their bathtub. The image went viral.READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
Since then, the Tarrs say legal efforts to resolve their problems have hit dead ends.
They’ve also abandoned a complex treatment system, saying chemicals in the water are just too corrosive. Instead, family members deliver public water.
“I would have truly expected that in 2021, living where we live, that this would have been fixed by now,” Erica said.
This water buffalo is the Tarr family’s water lifeline. They have a field each week with 300 gallons of water. To put it into some perspective, the average family of three years uses 2,100 gallons of water a week — seven times what they’re forced to use.
The Tarrs say drilling companies advised them against drilling a new well because of the unknown span of contamination.
They’ve received an estimate of $500,000 to tie into public water, which is a half-mile away. They’ve turned to crowdfunding to raise the cash. You can help by clicking here.
Energy Transfer, in a statement, “While it has been well documented that the Tarr’s water issues are not related to our construction or operations, we have strived to be a good neighbor by offering several gestures of assistance that they have rejected. If the Tarr’s or their attorney have had a change of heart on some of the assistance that we’ve offered, they’ve not communicated that to us at this time. An independent, professional geologist was engaged to investigate their water issue. That investigation concluded that our construction activities did not impact this landowner’s well. These results have been shared with the Pennsylvania DEP. Additionally, in a letter sent by PA DEP in late 2020, it was determined that there was not a connection between their water issues and our pipeline operations.”
A spokesperson for the DEP disputed that its investigators have reached any conclusions, writing, “DEP continues to work with the family as well as Sunoco to identify a long-term solution to address these concerns. This is still under investigation, and we have yet to draw or confirm any assertions or conclusions.”MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: Wake Coffee Roasters' Unique Way Of Selling Coffee Makes All Extra Happy In Morning
“We don’t have clean water. We haven’t had it for two years,” Erica said. “Who is going to be the person who cares enough to help us?”