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Vernon Center residents discuss contaminated water issue

Vernon Center residents say they have been dealing with contaminated water for nearly 25 years.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 6:44 PM

VERNON CENTER -- Vernon Center residents say they have been dealing with contaminated water for nearly 25 years.

A new proposed water district could provide relief.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney took a tour of homes, Monday, to get a better understanding of what people living there are dealing with.

"…Making sure they have a safe, reliable, and clean drinking water source, that's what we're working on,” Tenney said.

Residents say they can't drink the water that comes from the well because of salt and other chemicals, but the state provides them with clean drinking water.

"For anything that we're going to consume, we use bottled water,” Resident David Lenhart said. “We just use the well water for washing and laundry."

Some residents say there's so much salt in the water that it eats through the pipe systems in their homes. An abandoned road-salt storage facility is believed to be the source of water contamination.

Council members say a facility on Churton rd. used to house road-salt. They say the salt was stored on an uncovered surface, and rainwater containing high levels of salt would trickle down into the groundwater for years. The proposed water district will connect residents in Vernon Center to the existing water system in the Village of Vernon.

"It'll help with property values with growth in the area and the town, which is good for the town,” Deputy Town Supervisor Steve Adamkowski said. “But the first concern is health, actually, for the people."

Adamkowski says taxpayers will help fund the project, which is estimated to cost around $7 million. Council members are waiting to see how much federal funding they would be eligible for before moving forward with the project.

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