IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
(July – September 2017)
- Violation of the NYS Sanitary Code Surface Water Treatment Rule – Village of Phoenix (Foster Well #1 and #3) Public Water System – (PWS ID#3704363)
On April 20, 2011, the Oswego County Department of Health determined that the Village of Phoenix Foster Wells #1 and #3, respecting the primary and a backup source of Village, Town District and outside user’s drinking water, were identified as groundwater sources under the direct influence (GWUDI) of surface water. In other words, surface water containing certain organisms had reached the aquifer supplying our drinking water. This was determined from the analytical results obtained from Microscopic Particulate Analysis (MPA) samples taken on April 5, 2011which revealed that surface water organisms were present. The Village of Phoenix had no reason to believe, and it had not been alleged by anyone and in any respect, that the Village had done anything less than all of the usual, customary and legally required practices with respect to operation of the water system.
Although that situation did not require Phoenix Village Water Customers to take any immediate action, you had and have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and the latest updates on what we are doing to address, and as necessary correct, this situation. In response to this event, the Department of Health required we comply with the New York Sanitary Code Part 5-1.30 (b) requirement to provide adequate treatment, replace our source, or purchase water from another approved source by November 1, 2012. The Village water system is currently in violation of the New York State Sanitary Code, Subpart 5-1.30(b), also known as the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR.) This violation results from not meeting federal and state requirements to provide filtration or otherwise remedy the violation by the required deadline. For additional background information, please review past public notifications, also available through this site.
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) sets the drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of microbiological contaminants is a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Treatment such as filtering and disinfecting the water removes or destroys microbiological contaminants. If water is inadequately treated, microbiological contaminants in that water may contain disease. Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and any associated headaches and fatigue. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with disease-causing organisms in drinking water but may be caused by a number of factors other than your drinking water. Therefore, should you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may wish to seek medical advice.
The NYSDOH has set enforceable requirements for treating drinking water to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects. Attached please find the pathogen information sheet specific to unfiltered surface water.
During the 3rd
quarter of 2014 the Village of Phoenix proactively engaged in actions to resolve outstanding water quality issues. An engineering study was commissioned to address the situation. Pursuant to the engineering study the Village entered into a agreement with the Oswego County Health Department (OCHD) to develop a new source for drinking water to replace the well fields determined to be GWUDI by OCHD. The source is intended to be water filtered and supplied by the Metropolitan Water Board from their existing transmission line adjacent to County Route 12. Negotiations relevant to design and purchase price had been initiated and funding sources identified for the work as described in previous quarterly notices. Design of the work has been complete for several months and construction activity is ongoing with the Village contracting with Grant Street Construction to complete a pump station tie-in to the Metropolitan Water Board water source. Metropolitan Water Board contracted to be taken over by the Onondaga County Water Authority in late October 2016, closing as of this past January 1st
. We have been in negotiations with OCWA as to the water rates. The pump station and new water source have been connected to the Village water system. The old well system has been removed from the water system during the week of September 24, 2017.
The new supply system is now up and running to serve those formerly supplied by the Village well system. Over the next few days and weeks you may experience temporary minor issues incidental to initial testing and adjustments to operations witch we expect, marked improvements in water quality and supply in many areas and households. And while this extensive work over the past few years was completed primarily to address the violative GWUDI conditions raised by the County and State Departments of Health, the Village will be now be proceeding with a work plan street by street to address capital repairs and replacements in those areas of the Village transmission system where supply, quality and coloration/ sedimentation issues have long been a stigma of certain residents and neighborhoods Village water service. This work will proceed as part of a annual perpetual capital plan intended to maintain all of our village infrastructure affordably within a budgeted allotment and without resort to addressing periodic catastrophic failures from long term neglect with regulatory enforcement battles and major borrowings the Village has neither planned for nor can afford.
Furthermore, while as earlier indicated, although the Village continues to seek funding assistance, it was nevertheless committed to completing the project by the milestone date for substantial completion agreed to with OCDOH and therefore as might become necessary prepared for financing the project through a bond issuance previously committed to. Through the efforts of many at the Village, and with assistance from the Oswego County Departments of Health and Law, and the NYS Department of Health, at this time it is anticipated that approximately 60% of project funding will be through a New York State Drinking Water Fund and we are also seeking the remaining 40% balance of project cost funding through the Federally funded State Revolving Fund program. Now that the proposed design has been approved, and absent any weather related or other “force majeure” caused construction delays we anticipate no further obstacles to reaching a timely project completion.
You shall receive a notice similar to this every three months hereafter until compliance is achieved.
If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
You do not need to boil your water or provide any additional treatment. However, if you are considering purchasing a home drinking water filter, please be aware that not all filters provide equal or adequate protection. If you have questions regarding home filters, you can call the NYS Department of Health at 1 (800) 458-1158.
Please share this information with any other people who may drink from this water source, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You may do so by posting this notice in a public place, distributing copies by hand, or by mail.
All water service emergency requests should still be made to the appropriate Town or Village representatives. Questions related to this issue may be telephoned (315) 695-2484, or emailed to the Village Clerk-Treasurer ([email protected]
) on the Village’s voicemail system. If leaving a message, you should provide your full name, a daytime telephone number and fax, email or mailing address. The Village Clerk-Treasurer, Administrator, or other Village official will respond by phone in the event of any true emergencies. Otherwise, the response will be in writing, either in response to your specific question, or in a document containing responses to various frequently asked questions from water system customers. All responses will be sent to the email, fax or resident addresses you provide. You may also contact the Oswego County Health Department at (315) 349-3557.
To be very clear, the Village of Phoenix Mayor, Board of Trustees and administration continues to make resolution of this issue a top priority. Regardless and independent of any efforts by County, State or Federal governmental agencies, since becoming aware of this issue we have diligently worked toward addressing any problem with our water quality.