Village of Newport water customers and users are invited to an informational water project meeting on March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Newport Firehouse, 7370 Main St., Newport, to discuss the village’s current water situation and the project planned to bring the village’s water supply into compliance with state regulations.
“We’re hoping to secure land within a couple of weeks and get the project out to bid,” said Newport Village Mayor Thomas Roberts. “In the spring hopefully we can start the project.”
The approximately $2.1 million project to install a filtering system, which includes a chlorine house and a water storage tank, is designed to bring the village water system into compliance with New York State Department of Health water regulations.
Roberts said the project will be funded with a $1.2 million grant from the Environmental Facilities Corporation and a $975,000 loan, which will be paid back over 30 years at no interest.
“We have to use the loan money first; then they’ll be releasing the grant money,” said Roberts.
He said the March 6 meeting is one of several the village has conducted to keep residents informed about the water situation and the project.
The mayor said while the village’s water system does not meet state requirements, there has been no problem with the water itself and residents continue to use it.
“Our water is rather clean,” he said. “We’ve never had an issue with testing. This is mandated by the health department.” He added other municipalities across the state are facing similar challenges.
A recent boil water advisory was the result of a fire a couple of weeks ago that reduced water pressure and was followed a few days later by a water main break, according to Roberts.
“Once we shut it down, we have to call a boil water order,” he said.
The advisory was lifted Wednesday after the results of the water tests came back clean.
The village of Newport has been trying to deal with its water issue since Feb. 20, 2007, when the New York State Department of Health - Herkimer District Office determined the water from both the Skunk Hill and Furman Springs, which are the sources of the village’s drinking water, were under the direct influence of surface water. Health officials said the village did not provide adequate treatment to ensure that potentially harmful organisms were removed or inactivated.
The Department of Health directed the village to provide adequate treatment or replace the sources within 18 months (by Aug. 18, 2008), but the village was unable to meet this deadline.
The village initially tried to correct the problem by drilling wells, but was unable to find wells capable of producing the quality and amount of water needed. The decision was made to install a filtration system, but the project was delayed while the village sought funding for the project.