ILION, N.Y. – The village of Ilion might be getting closer to determining the reason for the discolored water residents have been complaining about.
Health department officials were at the village’s water treatment plant with village water department employees until 9 p.m. Thursday night, according to Mayor Terry Leonard. "They’ve taken over 50 samples that have been sent to the lab," he said.
"We’re thinking it may be an abundance of algae due to the high temperatures," said Leonard. "The water temperature at the reservoir was 78 degrees and that’s unheard of. It’s all this warm weather we’ve been having. They found algae in the clear well."
Filtered water is stored in the clear well before being moved to the distribution system, he explained.
The problem does not appear to be related to the new wells that went on line earlier this year, Leonard said. "They’ve been looking at the wells. It appears the wells are not the problem. It appears to be up at the reservoir. One of the side effects of algae is that it darkens the water. Once we confirm that that’s the problem then we’ll be moving forward to find a solution."
The village is not under a boil water advisory, he said, adding that the State Health Department has been looking closely at the problems and if health officials saw a need for a boil water advisory, "they’d be on us in a heartbeat."
As for complaints from local residents, he said, "I share their frustrations, but I feel very secure in saying it’s not a health and safety issue."
The mayor said he sees the discoloration in the water at his house as well. "It’s very disturbing to see darkness in the water."
When asked if the water was causing problems in the schools, Central Valley Schools Superintendent Richard Hughes said in an email, "
We have noticed discolored water a bit, but have no other issues. I have full faith in Mayor Leonard, our village trustees and water department when they say the water is safe to use."
Ilion residents have been posting complaints about the water on social media outlets. A Facebook page called Clean Water for Ilion went online last weekend and residents have been posting photographs of discolored water in toilets and bathtubs along with complaints about the water quality and problems with stains. There were also complaints about its effect on pets with some saying they are giving their dogs bottled water to drink. There are also complaints about the odor.