Town of Halfmoon can supply its own water again

When dredging of the Hudson River began near the Town of Halfmoon this past May, the town took no risks when it came to residents' water quality and health and began purchasing PCB-free water from the City of Troy. On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Town of Halfmoon water treatment plant resumed supplying water to residents in a cost-effective move.

It's cheaper for us; more economical to produce water than to purchase it from Troy. Being able to use our own water source will save the town money and not have us continue to incur extra expenses that at some point, may have had us take a look at raising the water rate or taxing residents, said Town of Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth.

Wormuth said it costs $1.81 per thousand gallons to supply water from Troy and that the town can produce that same amount of water for much cheaper.

According to Wormuth, water samples tested for PCBs indicated levels below base-line levels taken before the dredging. It will take about three or four days for all of the Troy supplied water to be consumed. The water from Troy contained fluoride but Town of Halfmoon supplied water does not. The town urged residents concerned with this change to consult their physicians.

No dredging will occur for the next nine to 12 months while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts a peer review process. The town is also in talks with the EPA regarding a lawsuit filed against General Electric (GE) that aims to secure compensation for the alternative water source.

"If GE doesn't pay or we're not successful [in the lawsuit], we're negotiation with the EPA to convince them that they would step in and pay for the cost differential," said Wormuth. She said the town is due back in court in February after the judge has had time to analyze the latest information they presented him.

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