Ilion, N.Y. - Although the New York State Health Department has deemed that the municipal water that goes into people's homes in Ilion is safe to drink, the Village of Ilion has begun distributing free drinking water to village residents, and that distribution will last through the end of October.
Ilion Village Clerk Laurie Medore says there is still some discoloration in the water coming into people's homes, and some have complained the water has an odor, and that's why the village, along with the state health department, are providing free drinking water for a month.
A tanker filled with 8,500 gallons of purified water, paid for by the state, pulled in to the parking lot next to the Ilion Central Fire Station Monday morning.
2,000 bottles of bottled water, also paid for by the state, now sit inside the Ilion Municipal Building.
The bottled water will be delivered to disabled residents who are already on the village's Emergency List, but Madore says any other village residents who can't get to the tanker to fill up jugs can call the village to get some bottled water delivered. She says those disabled residents can receive one 24 bottle case of water each week.
Madore says those village residents who can travel, can bring jugs to the tanker next to the fire station and fill them up with purified drinking water, but they can only fill up a total of five gallons per week.
Madore also says the state health department requires that the tanker filled with the drinking water must be manned 24 hours a day, "The department of health does not want the tanker left unattended because the spigot is an open spigot and they don’t want it to be contaminated."
The village is now looking for volunteers to man the tanker during the day in two hours blocks.
An Ilion firefighter or police officer, will man it during the overnight hours.
Madore says some people have already been signing up to volunteer, "It just started this morning at 8:00, so we have a lot of of our department heads doing it right now. I think as time goes on you’ll see some village residents and we have the Elks Club also volunteering their efforts and their time. I think we'll get a lot of people to help."
If you would like to volunteer for a two hour block to man the tanker, you can head down to the Ilion Municipal Building at 49 Morgan St. to sign up.
If you are disabled and cannot travel to fill up jugs with water, you can call the Village of Ilion at (315) 895-7449 to have some bottled water delivered.
Madore says the water into people's homes has been clearing up over the past couple of weeks, as the village installed a new aeration system in the village's reservoir system last month.
She says the water is expected to completely clear up in the coming weeks, which is why the free drinking water is scheduled to be available through October 31st.