DNR tests for contaminates in Hmong community garden

Town of Union, WI (WEAU) -- Investigators are looking into whether run-off that ended up in a Hmong community garden could be toxic, and where it came from.

DNR water resources supervisor, Paul Liberte, says they’re being cautious. La Liberte says, "There’s concern for sewage possibly getting on an adjacent property which is where there is a Hmong garden situation. So, just for caution we surrounded the area with yellow caution tape until we can get some test results in. The samples are down in Madison and we're awaiting the results."

The DNR is investigating a flooding incident that may have led to the contamination of a Hmong community garden off of North Valley Road in the Town of Union.

Blia Moua’s parents are part owners of the garden. Moua says, “They’re ordered not to touch anything because they don't know how much the e-coli has been spread."

Moua says the flooding and potential contamination has cost their family, as well as the other owners, money in crops. She says, “It's really big because they lost a whole bunch of potatoes, pea pods, carrots, peas, a lot, close to $2,000.”

Moua says the issue started when someone tried to find a solution for a flooding pond across the street. Moua says a tunnel was dug under the main road to make sure a pond across the street didn't overflow onto the street. But, that tunnel leads into the Hmong community garden where, allegedly, E. coli was able to travel off that water run-off and ruin crops."

The DNR says the possible contamination appears to have come from an adjacent property. The DNR has yet to confirm the exact source.

Moua says she hopes if the samples come back positive that her family will be able to get back some of the money they've lost. Moua says, “My parents say my uncle has been filing some forms and hoping that they'll be getting at least $1,000.”

The DNR says the investigation is still in its early stages. It also says it's expecting the sample test results later this week

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