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Village awaits verdict on water

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    The banks of a reservoir in Coxsackie, which supplies water to village of Catskill customers.
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    Residents in the village of Catskill have reported a “moldy” smell in their drinking water.
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November 26, 2018 10:02 pm

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.

We have a house trap, plus the best available household filtration system to take out particulates and also treat for the over chlorination and harmful organic byproducts they produce according to the warnings received with our water bills.

We have noticed how we have been running through filters 2X's the normal rate. Plus, we still get tinted water due to turbidity kicked up from pipe flushing and water main replacements. We put in all new copper plumbing with our house and also had the village remove lead feeds leading up to them. Town and village officials can try to breeze their way through this, but they're talking about shortening the life expectancy of our plumbing, expensive fixtures like Washer/dryers and dishwashers, and household filters. Those expenses are the same as a tax- they're non-deductible expenses under Trump's new tax codes.

But, it is really obvious that this all costs us extra money, and frankly, we don't drink Catskill water. Yet we pay for it. And, we pay taxes for what? Certainly not garbage removal, because we have to wrestle with a bunch of characters who provide this service at a monthly fee individually negotiated.

Nonetheless, our hallucinating public officials, particularly the Greene County Legislators, fall all over themselves patting themselves on the back for the great job they think they're doing. They're sadly deluded. Bad water, no garbage collection, and now a $100 Million Dollar public debt for an unnecessary Jail Bond + the mandated automatic increases in jail guards that this will require over the 30 year life expectancy of this gratuitously useless facility when surrounding counties are all grossly under capacity.

We need a fundamental reassessment of our goals and our criteria for performance around here.