Community

Mahopac Residents Coping With Water Contamination Issues

Mahopac resident Rick Maccarone receives water from a Cemco worker last Friday. Credits: Courtesy of Suez Water
The new water tanker at London Bridge housing development Credits: Courtesy of Suez Water

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Sixty-three homeowners in a housing development off Hill Street known as London Bridge have been living without potable water since Aug. 16 due to a bacterial infestation in a storage tank, but water company officials are optimistic the problem will be remedied this week.

David Tartaglia, a London Bridge resident, said the neighborhood first learned about the problem when employees of Suez Water, the company that owns the water district, came and stuck printed handouts on doors informing residents of the boil water order.

“It has been a royal hassle,” Tartaglia said. “You can bathe with it, but you can’t drink it and you can’t wash dishes with it. I have been busy trying to figure out how to wash my dishes. We fill the tea kettle once in the morning [and boil water] to wash a few things, but basically, we have been using paper plates and plastic forks and spoons.”

Sign Up for E-News

Tartaglia said his home has a reserve osmosis system but it doesn’t guarantee it will filter out bacteria.

“We have been buying a lot of water at the store,” he said.

Bill Madden, director of external affairs for Suez, said traces of bacteria were found in one of the system’s raw water storage tanks. One London Bridge resident told Mahopac News that the bacteria in question was E. coli, but Madden would not confirm that.

“Right now, we are just calling it ‘bacteria,’” he said.

To help remedy the problem, Suez took the contaminated storage tank offline and replaced it with a water truck tank.

“That will allow us to bypass that old tank and have a system that will provide the water for the 63 homes,” Madden said.

Suez must take two separate water samples 24 hours apart. If the tests come up clean, the boil water edict can be lifted. Madden said the results would come back from their lab sometime this week.

“The system is in place right now but we can’t lift the order until we have those two samples,” he said.

In the meantime, Suez, with help from Stormville, N.Y.-based Cemco Water and Wastewater Specialists, the company charged with maintaining the water system, has been handing out cases of bottled water to neighborhood residents. Last Friday (Sept. 1), the company made its third delivery. The district includes Nevins Road, Somerset Road, Brook Street, Stocum Avenue, Woodland Drive and Maurice Drive.

“We had a truck there on Brooks Street handing out four cases of bottled water per household,” Madden said. “And we will have another shipment.”

Madden said part of the problem has been communicating with Suez customers to let them know what is going on. Suez purchased the water district last year from Forest Park Water Company and Madden said the customer records were incomplete—half of the phone numbers were missing.

“We are in the transition period of becoming the owner of the old Forest Park District; that should be completed later this year,” he said. “But the phone records were bad and so the robo calls [with situational updates] were only getting to some of the people. We are trying to get all the information to everybody so they can stay up-to-date.”

Suez was able to do that after it went to the town hall and town engineer Rich Franzetti was able to track down the missing phone numbers. Now, all those impacted by the boil water notice can get the robo calls.

Madden said that with a fix now in place, Suez and the Putnam County Health Department must figure out how the bacterial contamination happened in the first place so they can prevent a reoccurrence.

“The water from the well was never in question,” he said. “We are optimistic that when the samples come back from the lab it will help us lift the boil water order. Customers should be assured we are using all available resources to resolve this as soon as possible.”

County Legislator Dini LoBue said the county has been working with Suez and was monitoring the situation very closely

“I know how frustrating and aggravating the situation is,” LoBue said. “Whenever there is a problem with water it impacts every aspect of your life.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

Vote Yes for the Constitutional Convention

I know I am right when I see who disagrees with me. The only reasons I have seen or read or heard against a New York Constitutional Convention are based on fear. Who is it that is afraid?  Public sector unions and elected officials—the two biggest groups that have something to fear from the people.

Public sector unions have had one hell of a gravy train at our expense for decades.

Stormy Weather Ahead

Massive, record-setting hurricanes have walloped Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and several Caribbean islands in recent weeks, causing untold damage from wind, rain and intense flooding. Puerto Rico is in ruins, as more than 3.5 million people fight for their physical and economic survival.  Are we beginning to reach a point where we might not be able to recover from a weather-related ...

Sleep Much?

Are you one of those folks who tells people that you can get by with sleeping, say, a mere four hours a night? I’ve always envied people like that.

I’m the south to their north—a polar opposite. I need double that amount of sleep. I’ve always assumed—or maybe once was told—that it is due to my slow metabolism. Or maybe I’m just boringly normal ...

Don’t Call Me... I’ll Call You

“Hello, hello,” I said, picking up the phone when I saw my husband’s number come up on my Caller ID.

Nothing.

“Hellllloooooooooo?” I said louder.

“Can I have a tall, decaf, skim mocha Frappucino,” I heard my husband say. It sounded like he wasn’t talking directly into his phone, but rather from a galaxy far, far ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, October 17

Putnam/ Northern Westchester Women's Resource Center, Mahopac

Domestic Violence Awareness Month - Wear Purple ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Wed, October 18

Putnam/ Northern Westchester Women's Resource Center, Mahopac

Domestic Violence Awareness Month - Wear Purple ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Thu, October 19

Putnam/ Northern Westchester Women's Resource Center, Mahopac

Domestic Violence Awareness Month - Wear Purple ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Helping English Language Learning Students Who Are Learning Disabled

Dana Stahl, a learning specialist and educational consultant, will address educational questions and concerns that parents may have regarding their children’s academic development and progress in school. Topics can center on such concerns as how to handle homework dilemmas or what questions to ask at a CSE meeting. Questions can range from “How best do parents advocate for their ...