Ilion, N.Y. - Residents in Ilion are hoping a new aeration system installed in the Ilion Reservoir on Friday will help with the ongoing discoloration problem with their drinking water.
The village hired a company out of Worcester in Otsego County called SOLitude Lake Management to install the aeration system in Ilion Reservoir Number 2, and after a three hour installation process on Friday, the switch was turned on Friday afternoon around 1:00.
Once the new $10,000 system was turned on, you could see where the six diffusers that were strategically placed under water, were working, as bubbles floated to the top.
Ilion Deputy Mayor Chuck Lester says he has heard about SOLitude Lake Management having good results with this particular aeration system in other municipal reservoirs across the country , "This is the move we decided to make at this point in time."
Lester says the $10,000 for the new system is coming directly from the village's general fund.
SOLitude Lake Management Regional Leader Brad Bowers says the addition of oxygen to the water will help with the overall health of the water in the reservoir, "At times of the year it's not mixing properly, so there are occasions where there's not enough oxygen at the bottom so as we're putting this in we're able to mix the whole water column and at the same time we're also, through mixing it, changing the oxygen that's on the top."
Ilion resident Dave Harrigan says he's glad to hear the village is taking this issue seriously and doing what it can to fix the problem, "I think anything that they put in to help the water situation will be great. At this point it's so old that anything they put in will be good for the community."
This aeration system is made of six black cables that are all connected to a pump. That pump pumps air into the cables which are also connected to six round diffusers put in in six different locations at the bottom of Ilion Reservoir Number 2.
Lester says this aeration system is just step one of the village's long-range plan, '"This is a step to just clear up the dirty water that we've got right now and our ultimate goal is to run a transmission line from the wells that are down on W. Clark St. and up to the treatment plant."
Lester says the plan then is to update the filtration system, "We're going to do as much as we can with the financial constraints that we're under, but we're also going to be pounding the pavement for grant money, assistance at every level of government."
Harrigan says even though his water has cleared up a lot in the past couple of weeks, and may continue to do so even more so with the new aeration system, he is still a little wary of drinking the water from his own faucet, "It does get a little frustrating and we do have to buy drinking water, but it's what you have to do now."