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Solution possible after two months of boil water order for Lily Dale

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon Lily Dale has been on a boil water order since July 14.

While Fredonia has been dealing with a boil water order for a week, Lily Dale has been ordered to boil water for more than two months.

During Thursday’s county Board of Health meeting, Paul Snyder, a professional engineer with the county Department of Health and Human Services, noted that Lily Dale has been on a boil water order since July 14. “It was primarily due to a contamination in their very antiquated water mains that are around a hundred years old,” he said.

During regular monitoring, contamination popped up this summer. “We don’t know if it was due to low demand through there, which decreases flow and decreases the free chlorine residual or if there’s leaks around there that’s contributing to contamination,” he said.

Snyder explained they collected water samples over several weeks, which all showed a serious problem. “This was probably the worst contaminated distribution system I’ve seen in nearly 20 years of being the engineer at the health department,” he said.

Lily Dale purchases their water from Cassadaga. Snyder said Cassadaga’s system was tested. “Their distribution system has been perfectly fine, thankfully,” he said.

There were attempts to improve the quality of the water going into Lily Dale, but that didn’t fix the problem. A temporary chlorination station was ordered to be installed July 31, but didn’t get installed until this past week. Snyder said the COVID-19 may have indirectly caused the delays for the orders.

“Our goal is to shock treat their distribution system with a higher chlorine residual,” he said. “Because of the low demand the water is not going to be moving. Hopefully it’s going to be in contact with the turberculation in the water mains to disinfect the water mains. Shortly thereafter we’ll start sampling the distribution system again and hopefully that works.”

Snyder noted that earlier this spring the county health department approved a $3.6 million project to replace nearly all of Lily Dale’s water mains. “In discussion with their project engineer earlier this week, I instructed him to do everything that he possibly can to start that project this fall and get as many water mains replaced as possible before winter,” he said. If that were to happen, Snyder believes the project will be finished by the spring.

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