Saratoga A routine test by the New York State Department of Health found higher than average levels of contaminants in water provided by the Saratoga County Water Authority to the Town of Ballston, according to Chairman Jack Lawler.
“There’s a test the state DOH requires which measures the quality of the water. We have to have a rolling one year average of .06 percent or less and our average was .07 percent, a very minor exceedance,” said Lawler.
A large part of the problem that led to increased contaminant levels is likely the fact that Ballston only uses about 2.5 million gallons a day out of the 10 million gallons available.
“There has been some increases in byproducts of a combination of organic chemicals and chlorination and they increase based on the amount of time water sits in the system,” said Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth. “There’s such a low usage of water in the system at this point.”
The town also gets water from Glenville (Southworth said this could be used as an alternative water source if need be) which is why it’s not using the full capacity from Saratoga County Water Authority.
Once GlobalFoundries goes on-line and starts taking water from the county, the problem will be greatly alleviated, said Lawler.
“We’re putting water in the pipe but water is staying in the pipe longer than ever intended and the longer the water is in the pipe, that’s when the chlorine starts to break down,” said Lawler. “Once we’re moving [more] gallons through a day, that will certainly go a long way toward solving the problem.”
Lawler said the DOH test, which is relatively new since 2006, is posing a growing problem for water systems because simple things like excess rain can cause contaminant levels to exceed the state limit.