The Week In Review-The Weekend Ahead

Meeting Aims to Calm PFOS Water Concerns, But Fears Remain

Seen here is a photo of Beaver Dam Lake taken from Shore Drive in New Windsor. Residents that live near the lake are concerned about chemicals, such as PFOS and PFOA, which have been detected in the lake and nearby private wells. (photo by Bob Root)

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Seen here is a photo of Beaver Dam Lake taken from Shore Drive in New Windsor. Residents that live near the lake are concerned about chemicals, such as PFOS and PFOA, which have been detected in the lake and nearby private wells. (photo by Bob Root)

By Mark Gerlach

An estimated 150 Beaver Dam Lake residents attended an informational meeting about chemicals called PFOS and PFOA, which have been detected in various bodies of water in the area, including the lake and nearby private wells. The crowd came to the meeting seeking answers, but many left with lingering concerns.

Washingtonville Middle School’s auditorium was filled about a third of the way for the Feb. 6 meeting.

“I feel like we’re kind of in the dark,” Mary Hyde, 54, of the New Windsor section of Beaver Dam Lake said after the meeting. “We really don’t know what’s going on.”
A northwest portion of Beaver Dam Lake has a high concentration of the chemicals. The perimeter of the lake is called the “yellow zone.” Tests are still underway to examine the extent of contamination in the “yellow zone.”

Beaver Dam Lake has tested positive for PFOS. However, the lake is mostly used for recreational purposes, not drinking water. Eighty-two private wells have been tested in the nearby area, about 24 of which were found to contain PFOS and PFOA.

Where PFOS and PFOA have been detected in private wells, the contamination levels are below the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory of 70 parts per trillion in all but one location, which isn’t used for drinking water, a DEC Fact Sheet said.

A number of residences have added treatment systems to their wells, to eliminate PFOS and PFOA. The state has reportedly picked up the tab for the treatment systems. Shallow wells are generally more susceptible to contamination.

About 800 homes are in the Beaver Dam Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District. Of those homes, approximately 650 use private groundwater wells. The remaining homes receive water from the Beaver Dam Lake Water Corp. Samples collected from the Beaver Dam Lake Water Corp. tested negative for PFOS and PFOA, the DEC says.

To read the full article see the Feb., 10 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.

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