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Town’s water raises red flag

EPA cites Bethlehem for levels of chemical byproducts in water system

Clapper Road Water Treatment Facility.

Clapper Road Water Treatment Facility. Photo by Alyssa Jung.

— The water is still safe to drink and measures are being taken to fix the problem. Deyoe said using an extra carbon filter on the tap at home or through a water pitcher may be helpful as an extra precaution. The levels should return to normal within the next three months.

The town has known of the EPA changes to drinking water testing standards for some time. A public hearing was held in September of 2010 to discuss the changes and notify the public of needed changes to the town’s water treatments facility. The town unified its water distribution system in part because of the approaching regulation change.

In 2012, the town began the planning and design of improvements to be made at the New Salem Water Treatment Plant. Construction is expected to be complete by June 2013. Operational changes at the Clapper Road Water Treatment plant are also scheduled for this summer, with planning and design for “long-term improvements.” The project is expected to cost about $1.7 million.

System-wide flushing of the water distribution system will begin as soon as the weather allows. Deyoe said the changes have been made to the Clapper Road plant to add air into the process, as well.

“We’re really just working to freshen up the water and keep it moving within the lines,” he said.

More information can be found of the town or EPA website. Those with specific questions concerning safety can call Dr. Tom Brady of the Albany County Health Department at 447-4620.

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