Press-Republican

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May 6, 2013

Dannemora salt water problem continues

DANNEMORA — Frustration continues to mount for residents of Ledgers Corners in Dannemora, who still can’t drink their water.

“We didn’t cause this problem, yet we are the ones who have to deal with it,” Jeff King said at a recent meeting at Dannemora Town Hall.

About 50 people showed up at the meeting hoping to get some answers to how to resolve the salt contamination in their water supplies that they’ve been dealing with for years.

The contamination is believed to be linked to a nearby State Department of Transportation salt shed on Route 374 near Plank Road, but that has not been confirmed by the state.

‘ALL NOT EQUAL’

After more than a decade of local suspicion about the source, an official state investigation into the contamination began in early 2012.

Results showed about four dozen wells have been tested in the area with at least 18 of them showing high levels of chloride (a form of salt), two with unacceptable levels of coliform bacteria and three with detectable levels of cyanide, reportedly an inert form contained in a compound that prevents caking in salt.

Affected residents have been receiving bottled water from the state.

But not everyone is being treated equally, King said.

There are those whose wells showed higher levels of chloride than others, yet the state refuses to provide them with bottled water, he said. 

Also, some wells right next door to other wells that have been tested have been bypassed.

“What’s wrong with this picture?” King said. “Everyone should be tested.”

WATER DISTRICT ISSUES

Michael Flick of the DOT in Watertown said more testing is being scheduled. He also said bottled water is given to those with wells that show levels of chloride at 250 mg per liter or higher.

One possible solution to the salt problem is creating a water district for the area, connecting to the system that serves Clinton Correctional Facility in the Village of Dannemora. But King said every well needs to be tested in order to figure out the best route for a district.

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