• Some Brevard families can't drink water from own wells


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Some families in Brevard County can't drink the water in their own homes and they said the county won't help them solve the problem.

    Residents in the West Canaveral Groves area have wells that are tainted with salt, lead and arsenic.

    They told Channel 9's Melonie Holt that they have been asking to tie into the county's waterline. But they said county officials refuse to allow the funding.

    Mary Benell lives in the West Canaveral  Groves community. She said the water from her well isn't fit to drink.  It's why the Florida Department of Environmental Protection installed a water purification system under her kitchen sink. It provides her with roughly 12 gallons of fresh water per day for drinking and cooking.  She said she conserves every drop.

    "I have arsenic. It's not unacceptable, but it's high. And I have lead way over the acceptable amount," said Benell.

    Like a number of her neighbors, Benell 's water also has  high levels  of sodium.

    "Anything that you can think of that's bad in your water is pretty much out here," said area resident Donna Deluzio.

    For the past decade, residents have been trying to get connected to county water. Their latest effort failed this week when county commissioners didn't sign off on a roughly $1.7 million plan for Housing and Urban Development funding through the community development block grant program. 

    Commissioners said they were concerned that if grant program couldn't make annual payments, the money would have to come from the county's general fund.

    "We just have to keep working on it," said resident Len Beckett.

    Beckett is the community's homeowners association president. He said he's already identifying alternative source of funding, but said any plan will require the cooperation of county commissioners.

    "You need to do what this county committed to do 10 years ago," said Beckett.
    This project would impact about 180 homeowners.

    Beckett said his area of the county has only seen a fraction of the community development funding spent in other target areas and that needs to change.

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