Perryville survey shows new life and clean water in caves - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perryville survey shows new life and clean water in caves

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

The Missouri Speleological Survey group partnered with the city of Perryville, Missouri to research what lies beneath their city.

Researchers went caving, or what's called spelunking, through a number of caves last week.

Up to a dozen people made their way through many miles of underground caves and found many forms of life. 

The survey group, or spelunkers, helped map a lot of the caves, identified which way the water flowed, and  how each of the caves were connected. 

Decades ago Perryville had a group survey the underground caves. 

What was found was filth - and a lot of it. 

"Years ago we had pollution problems," said Perryville City Administrator Brent Beurck. "We had spelunkers describe smelly water, sometimes feces in the water, detergent bubbles and things like that. There was also, no aquatic life below at all."

Beurck was also on hand to get a first person view of what the caves looked like last week. 

He is pleased to say that the findings were all great. They found clean water and many forms of life. 

That is something they didn't have years ago. 

"I was ecstatic," Beurck said. "We found lots of life. We found dozens of cave salamanders, we found fish in the water. Little flat worms and beetles. The water was clean. It was sparkling clean. It didn't smell anymore. A lot of the things we've been doing seems to be working. Perryville went through a big process when the Grotto Sculpin was proposed to be listed as an endangered species."

Since then, the community including the city, industrial leaders and farmers have developed a plan to improve water and soil quality. 

Beurck says because of those efforts, this recent survey has shown them they have changed the quality of water and life for the better for Perryville. 

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