Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bottled Water Program Comes To An End In Hoosick Falls

September 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

By Doug La Rocque

For nearly two years residents of the Village of Hoosick Falls have been able to pick up free bottled water at the Tops Market, while work was underway to install carbon filters on the distribution system to clean the water supply of PFOA.  The latest result from July testing shows PFOA levels remain non-detectable.
Saint-Gobain and Honeywell were required to fund the free water program under the Consent Order signed with DEC until some weeks after the permanent filters were operational. They have extended the program for a few months beyond the required time at the request of various parties, including DEC, but have now brought it to a close. The cost of the free bottled water program from its inception until now is estimated to be nearly two million dollars.
Not everyone is happy or content with the program ending now. Michael Hickey, who is credited with sounding the alarm about the PFOAs after having sent water samples to a Canadian laboratory for testing, tells The Eastwick Press, “it’s a tough call on the bottled water.  I wish they had waited until the report on a new source of clean water comes out.”  That he believes will be available in a few weeks.  He feels they could have “had better timing.”  He also pointed out that many residents he has talked to have “lost their trust, because they were not informed for so long.”
Mayor Rob Allen issued a statement saying, “even though the science tells us that the water is potable, it is sometimes hard to forget that our water comes from a deeply contaminated aquifer.  I think we are all very interested in seeing the final results of the alternative water supply report, especially since our neighboring community across the state line is on their way to their permanent remedy.”
Hickey said he hopes the report doesn’t recommend the Tomhannock Reservoir in Pittstown as the preferred source for clean water. He said that water tests at 3 parts per trillion for PFOA and adds that it would be a logistics nightmare to run the piping along Route 7 and then into Hoosick Falls.  He said it is his understanding that the water source on the Wysocki Farm along Route 22 is clean, but that there is not enough water to supply the village. He believes there may be other sources in Vermont, that may be closer than the Tomhannock and less expensive to construct.


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