Posted: Oct 16, 2016 08:26 AM CDT
Updated: Nov 15, 2016 06:47 PM CST
Jacob Reeves, pictured at home in Stoughton, Wis. In 2014 Jacob was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis — a rare disease that his mother Dawn attributes to the high level of atrazine found in their well water. "I only cried once," Dawn Reeves said, "when they said he might not walk again."
The Reeves family of rural Stoughton, Wis. had a faucet installed between two filters that remove herbicides and pesticides so water can be drawn and tested after going through the first tank. The family also tests the water at the kitchen sink after passing through the second tank. Doug Reeves says the first tank is showing signs of failure, as a recent draw tested positive for atrazine.
Dawn and Doug Reeves used to garden extensively and canned most of the vegetables they grew. After their well in rural Stoughton, Wis. tested positive for atrazine, they stopped using the water on their garden and discarded all of their stored canned goods.
A cornfield is seen in Dane County, Wis., where atrazine is prohibited. Since 1991, the state has created atrazine prohibition zones in areas where drinking water has been contaminated with the agricultural chemical.
The water filtering system in the basement of Doug and Dawn Reeves' home near Stoughton, Wis., shows the efforts the couple has made to remove atrazine and other contaminants from their drinking water. That includes two small blue tanks that remove sediments, the black tank that removes nitrate, and two large blue tanks to remove volatile organic compounds, herbicides and pesticides. The large blue filters cost the Reeves family $1,500 a piece. There also is a reverse osmosis filter attached to the kitchen faucet.