Confirmatory Sampling by the State Department of Health Shows No Detectable Levels of Petroleum Compounds
Residents Are Asked to Flush Their Plumbing to Remove Old Water
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the "Do Not Drink" advisory for the Village of New Paltz Water System is now lifted. The order is a result of the completion of system flushing and re-sampling of the water distribution system by the New York State Department of Health that showed no detectable levels of petroleum compounds. Residents should be advised that the water can be used for drinking.
"Following swift deployment of state resources and the isolation of the contamination source, our extensive testing shows no detectable levels of petroleum compounds in the New Paltz water system and that the water is safe to drink," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and the many state employees who answered the call and worked around the clock to help restore this water system. While we are pleased with the outcome, we will continue to be vigilant and ready to confront any and all threats to our public health."
A do not drink advisory was issued on Monday, February 10 from the New York State Department of Health and Ulster County Department of Health following reports of an odor detected in the village's drinking water. The spill was determined to be the result of a compromised underground fuel line for the village's water treatment plant heating system. The Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response experts are overseeing the cleanup of the spill that compromised Reservoir #4. The village is bypassing this reservoir during the clean up.
Flushing of the system occurred throughout the day Wednesday to move clean water through the distribution system and the additional samples collected Thursday showed non-detectable levels for petroleum compounds, allowing the "do not drink" advisory to be safely lifted.
With the lifting of the advisory, homeowners are advised to flush their plumbing to remove any old water that may be lingering in the pipes of their household or business. Please see here for steps on how to flush.
Today's announcement follows the Governor's ongoing updates throughout the week announcing identification of the source of contamination, initial testing results, and state deployment of nearly 50,000 gallons of fresh water to support residents and students in New Paltz.
Several state agencies were involved in these emergency efforts including state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, DEC, DOH and the New York State Police, all of which worked closely with local government agencies including the Ulster County Executive's Office, Ulster County Emergency Management, Ulster County DOH, Village of New Paltz, Village of New Paltz DPW, Town of New Paltz, New Paltz Fire Department, New Paltz Rescue Squad and the New Paltz Police Department.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said, "These results are great news for the residents of New Paltz, who can now be confident that their water supply is safe. I'd like to thank everyone for their patience, and recognize the incredible team effort - from the leadership of Governor Cuomo and Mayor Rogers to the on-the-ground work of our dedicated engineers, first responders, and public health experts - to quickly address this challenge."
Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers said, "Governor Andrew Cuomo sent us an incredible team to both ensure our community had safe water during our do-not-drink advisory and also help us identify the source of our problem. Our local officials and staff worked hand in glove with all the New York State and Ulster County officials and staff. It has been humbling to see this team mobilize and problem solve. I'm also so appreciative of our community for being patient and supportive throughout this challenging week."
While the "Do Not Drink" order was in place, Governor Cuomo ordered water distribution locations to be set up for the general public. Those water supplies included one 6,700 gallon water tanker on site with three 500 gallon water buffaloes, 25 pallets of bottled water and two light towers for use on water tanks.
In addition, all needed services were maintained for those students remaining on the SUNY New Paltz campus as the State supplied two 6,700 gallon water tankers, a 500 gallon water buffalo and 36 pallets of water.
And at Governor Cuomo's direction the State also supplied at least two days of water to the New Paltz Central School District to enable them to remain open without operational issues. The water supply included five pallets to the High School, three pallets to the Middle School and three pallets to Duzine Elementary School.