GRANVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – North Granville residents got a bit of a scare over the weekend, when the waiter coming through their faucets, toilets and washing machines went from clear to brown.
Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks said the problem started with a pump that went down on Saturday; which, for the town of a few thousand residents, is a difficult time to get anything fixed.
“Of course this kind of thing never happens during the week,” Hicks said on Tuesday morning. His crews weren’t able to address the problem properly until Monday, and by then, the change in water flow from the town’s auxiliary pump had changed the color of the water for the around 240 North Granville homes that use it.
On Monday, while working to fix the problem, crews found a malfunctioning service pipe that extended the problem. As of Tuesday morning, though, Hicks said the problem had been resolved, for now.
North Granville resident Nolan Ynesta said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened in the three years his family has lived in town. And despite the issue this last weekend, he says this most recent string of bad water days has gone on since last Monday.
“It just randomly clears up, and it’s just very clear, chlorinated-smelling water,” Ynesta described on Monday. “But before that, when the water’s clean and clear, when you put it against anything white, it looks like someone has urinated in the water.”
Ynesta said that the weekend issue ruined a whole load of laundry. He and his neighbors turn to bottled water when they need to, but don’t feel as though there’s much sign of improvement on the way.
He’s even contacted the New York State Department of Health about the issue, but was told there’s not much that can be done on their end. The water system in Granville is over 80 years old, but passes standards; for now.
“When it comes out of the wells, it passes all the tests, but they don’t seem to want to test it when it comes out of the faucets at our houses,” Ynesta said. “Our neighbors have a newborn infant, and you can’t do laundry, you can’t do anything with the water.”
Ynesta said he thinks the town should be testing water door-to-door.
Hicks knows that the problem needs to be solved. The aging water system can’t last forever. It would cost an estimated $4 million to replace the water pipes leading out to North Granville, according to a study the town conducted. And they don’t have that kind of money right now.
Hicks said there is hope, though. He and the town are keeping a close eye out for new Federal and state aid opportunities. In the meantime, the town is allocating a large amount of the stimulus funding it is set to receive into a new well and pump.
“With the relatively small number of people out in North Granville, we’re making the best decisions we can,” he said.
Ynesta said he would have liked to at least have received a robo-call, which the town is supposed to send out when problems with the pipe system arise.
“I feel like we’re failing, communication-wise,” he said. “We’ll have a good stretch, and then we’ll have a really horrible stretch.”
A similar water quality issue came up last year, when Slate Valley Center nursing home in Granville disrupted water flow and stirred up sediment while running sprinkler tests.