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POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over 18 months after PFAS was first detected in the wells at Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill, residents got an opportunity to learn more about a proposed water district that would deliver clean water Thursday night. The proposal would cost an estimated $5.5 million.

“It’s not been fun,” said Greg Pattenaude, who lives in Poestenkill.

Regular state testing of the wells of Algonquin Middle School found PFAS levels recorded from both of the school’s wells exceeded state regulations. The discovery, prompting additional testing for homes across the area, both by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and privately.

“There’s these low levels that are around of the PFAS contaminants and now we have to deal with something we never thought we’d have to deal with. We have water that we thought was good that now has forever chemicals in it,” Pattenaude said.

According to the latest data from the DEC, 14 homes have exceeded the PFOA or PFAS limit of 10 parts per trillion, with one more than triple the limit.

But a proposed new water district hopes to bring a solution to the contamination concerns, “The town’s doing their due diligence, they’re doing their homework, but the bottom line is none of these numbers work, unless the state or federal government comes up with a sizeable grant to help this water district get off the ground,” said Dominic Jacangelo.

The project, which would connect into the town’s existing water district, will cost an estimated $5.5 million, with 60% of that covered by a state grant.

“It’s an expensive system and we’re trying to get the cost down. As you can see, it’s going to be difficult. Really, we need Gillibrand and Schumer to help us. If they don’t help us, probably can’t bring it to a vote,” said Poestenkill Town Supervisor Keith Hammond.

One of the biggest concerns at Thursday’s meeting is the yearly price tag, “Over $1000 per household is not going to be doable,” Jacangelo said.

While lowering the costs of the project could bring a reliable and clean water source to homes, many residents want to know what’s causing the contamination,” Even though we have a proposal for clean water, which is very important, we don’t give up on finding the source of where the PFAS contamination came from,” said Pattenaude.

The DEC is continuing to test numerous sites to determine where the PFAS is coming from.

By connecting into the town’s existing water district, the proposed district would get its water from the Tomhannock Reservoir.

Any new water district needs to be approved by property owners in the proposed area in a referendum.

Poestenkill residents learn more about proposed water district

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