Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story reported that the Queensbury town landfill had been identified by the DEC as the source of trace contaminants found in Jenkinsville wells. This site is still undergoing assessment, and no determination has been made.
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An area of Queensbury has struggled with clean water issues for the last two years, after some residents were advised to steer clear of drinking their well water by the DEC in 2021. Now, the town is getting set to have a conversation about how to improve the water situation in Jenkinsville.
On Monday, April 17, the Queensbury Town Board will hold a public meeting on ways it could connect the northern neighborhood of Jenkinsville to the town water line. Currently, residents in Jenkinsville rely on well water. As of last spring, 20 of those 122 homes were still being advised to only drink and cook with bottled water, as a precautionary measure after trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane were found by the DEC.
At the meeting, the town will present two possible approaches to connecting the area to the town water line, which currently only stretches to a point more than 3 miles south of the neighborhood. Designed by engineering firm C.T. Male Associates, both possible methods would involve the installation of municipal water mains in other nearby areas that aren’t currently served by the town water line. Public comment is encouraged.
“No decision on expanding municipal water service will be made at the meeting,” the town wrote in a meeting announcement. “The Town Board is exploring the alternatives and the costs and soliciting public comments and suggestions. The Board’s goal is to provide municipal water service that is affordable, beneficial, and attractive to the majority of town residents in the area.”
Those who cannot attend the upcoming Queensbury town meeting in person are invited to do so via Zoom. Meetings can also be watched live on the town YouTube page.
In a report presented in 2022, C.T. Male estimated the cost of water line extension as high as $4.6 million, depending on some variables. The firm conducted a similar study in Queensbury in the late 1990s.
Meanwhile, months of testing at the four dumps around Jenkinsville is still ongoing. A site characterization study remains underway at the Queensbury Town Landfill, following an investigation into the neighboring three around it. The DEC maintains that those wells are not contaminated at high-enough levels to cause immediate danger, but says, too, that there is more work to be done.
“DEC is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine the source of contamination and will take appropriate next steps that ensure the protection of public health and the environment,” the DEC said. “Data collected during the first phase of the site characterization has been reviewed and DEC has determined additional investigation efforts are necessary. A second phase of investigative work is in the planning stages and will be implemented later this year.”
Also upcoming, the DEC plans to release another community update in the coming weeks, to fill in residents on what’s next. The last community update was posted in October 2021. Those interested in signing up to receive updates on the DEC’s work in Jenkinsville can do so online.