February 12, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Provides Updates on Bringing New Paltz Water System Back on Line

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Preliminary Results Collected from Village Water Tanks Show Non-Detectable Levels of Petroleum Compounds 

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that preliminary results from the Village of New Paltz water storage tanks show non-detectable levels for petroleum compounds. The samples, collected overnight by the New York State Department of Health and tested today at Wadsworth Center Laboratories, the state's public health lab, are critical in determining the breadth and time needed to flush the village water system and lift the do not drink advisory.  

 

"I'm pleased to announce that after quickly mobilizing state resources and locating the source of the contamination, our tests show non-detectable levels for petroleum compounds in the New Paltz water system," Governor Cuomo said. "Protecting our water supply is critical to protecting public health and safety and now that we've identified the problem and have encouraging test results, we will continue our efforts to restore access to clean water to this community." 

 

Flushing will continue throughout the day Wednesday. Additional samples will be collected Thursday, and those results will help determine when the do not drink advisory can be safely and effectively lifted.

 

Today's update follows the Governor's announcement last night that the source of contamination had been identified as a compromised underground fuel line for the village's water treatment plant heating system. The Governor has also deployed over 40,000 gallons of fresh water to support residents and students in New Paltz following a do not drink advisory from the New York State Department of Health and Ulster County Department of Health.

 

Department of Environmental Conservation and Village officials determined the cause of the sheen observed on Reservoir #4 to be a compromised underground fuel line for the village's water treatment plant heating system. DEC Spill Response experts are overseeing development and implementation of a cleanup plan to address this spill. The village has bypassed this reservoir while investigations of the drinking water supply continue and sampling results are analyzed.  

 

Several State agencies are involved in these emergency efforts including NYS DHSES, NYS DEC, NYS DOH and NYSP, all of which are working 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, "I would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and officials at all levels of government for their hard work in responding to this incident in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. Moving forward, our number one priority remains ensuring the health and safety of all impacted residents. We are encouraged based on preliminary test results once we can fully ensure the systems integrity we will lift the "Do Not Drink Advisory."

 

Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers said, New Paltz has worked closely with NYS and Ulster County to return water service to our residents, businesses, and schools. Our community is incredibly grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State and County officials who have exhibited exemplary responsiveness and support."

 

Other updates:  

 

SUNY New Paltz

  • All needed services are being maintained for those students remaining on campus
  • Two 6700 gallon water tankers on site
  • One 500 gallon water buffalo on site
  • 24 pallets of bottled water on site
  • 12 pallets of water to be delivered tomorrow
 

 

New Paltz Central School District (K-12)

Schools are open and there are no issues with operations

Two days of water have been provided to New Paltz schools:

  • Five pallets to New Paltz High School
  • Three pallets to New Paltz Middle School
  • Three pallets to Duzine Elementary School
  • A second elementary school is on well water

 

Village of New Paltz

  • One 6700 gallon water tanker on site
  • Three 500 gallon water buffaloes on site
  • 25 pallets of bottled water being distributed
  • Two light towers for use on water tanks
  • Water distribution for the general public is 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Water refills

  • DEC contractor will be conducting daily checks of water levels of all water buffalos and filling as appropriate to ensure continued water supplies for all residents.
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Contact the Governor's Press Office
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