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Another boil order issued in Fredonia

Here we go again. For the second time in less than four months, village of Fredonia users are under a boil-water order.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Chautauqua County Health Department issued the order after a disruption at the treatment plant led to water with elevated levels of turbidity entering the distribution system. This water could contain harmful microbes. Boiling the water kills bacteria and other microbes that may be present.

All Fredonia water customers, including those in the town of Pomfret, must boil water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and making coffee until further notice. Water must be brought to a rolling boil for one minute then cooled prior to use.

Once turbidity levels have fallen to acceptable levels, the Health Department noted, the village will collect water samples on consecutive days to make sure the water is safe. Notifications and press releases will be used to inform the public when the boil water order is lifted.

In April, Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas made a proposal to have the city of Dunkirk provide village residents with water through its newly refurbished and state-of-the-art treatment facility on Lake Shore Drive. In the plan, Dunkirk would supply 1.3 million gallons of water per day to Fredonia. It would come through three connections: through the Vineyard Drive pump station the communities share, and two Route 20 linkups on either end of the village. The Route 20 infrastructure belongs to the North County Water District, but Dunkirk is the sole supplier of that.

Last month, the village approved a comprehensive study of its water issues that will consider doing business with Dunkirk. The village Board of Trustees approved the study by a 3-2 vote. Voting in favor were Republican Trustees David Bird, Jon Espersen and Nicole Siracuse. The “no” votes came from Democrat Trustees James Lynden and Michelle Twichell.

On Feb. 26, a boil-water order was put in effect for a similar issue at the treatment plant. Elected village leaders blamed equipment malfunctions with a pump, and not human error, for causing that disruption. The order lasted for four days.

This is the sixth such crisis in the village since 2009.

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