CATSKILL — Village officials anticipate a response from the state Department of Health regarding the quality of the municipality’s water.
Recent complaints from residents about water discoloration prompted the village’s inquiry.
The village has been experiencing problems with high turbidity due to persistent heavy rainfall over a period of months. A boil water advisory was issued in early August and lasted a few days.
Turbidity is defined by the U.S. Geological Survey as the measure of relative clarity of a liquid. It is an optical characteristic of water and an expression of the amount of light scattered by material in the water when a light is shined through the water sample.
The higher the intensity of scattered light, the higher the turbidity. Material that causes water to be turbid include clay, silt, finely divided inorganic and organic matter, algae, soluble-colored organic compounds, plankton and other microscopic organisms.
The Catskill Village Board of Trustees will deliver a report to residents at its meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Washington Irving Senior Center, at 15 Academy St.
Potic Mountain Reservoir in Coxsackie supplies drinking water for village of Catskill customers.
“The rain we had in August made the chemistry of water in the reservoir change,” Catskill Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Michael McGrath said. “The water has been safe. The tests have always been negative.”
The DPW took new bacterial samples Monday to send out for testing, he added.
“We’ve had a tough fall with the rain,” Village President Vincent Seeley said. “It’s been an ongoing issue all summer up until today. We’re trying to stay on top of it. We also don’t want to overtreat the water.”
The water discoloration could affect all Catskill residents using the reservoir in Coxsackie, Seeley said, but some areas might be more affected than others.
“The water at the end of the village, near the bridge, might be better than in Leeds,” he explained.
The village has also been flushing out water lines by opening fire hydrants, Seeley said.
“We have been opening and closing the system — bringing new water through the system to flush it out,” McGrath said.
In addition to the heavy rain, a spate of recent fires and the use of hydrants by contractors have put stress on the village water system, McGrath said.
Although the water has been ruled safe for drinking, homeowners can take precautions.
“We recommend if they’re not comfortable, there are filters to reduce the coloration,” Seeley said.