POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been one year since PFAS contaminants were found in the drinking water of Poestenkill’s Algonquin Middle School and in the nearby neighborhood of Algonquin Estates.
“It’s a real problem to think that we had safe drinking water, and we don’t,” said Phillip LaRocque.
Phillip LaRocque lives in Algonquin Estates and is part of the Concerned Citizens Drinking Water group which recently sent a letter to the DEC with a list of requests—- including finding the source, remediating it, and providing free testing to anyone nearby who wants it, not just those selected for testing by the DEC.
“And quicker and more timely test results, public transparency, I know the DEC and the county health department are saying they are being very transparent—they are to a degree, but not anywhere near what our group would like to see,” stated LaRocque.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said it takes time to get the test results.
“We’ve built the sampling protocols and we initiated the rears and as the data comes back, it has to be validated, so there is a process to first get it analyzed and then get it validated, and as soon as we get validated data back, we post it on the Poestenkill website,” said Sean Mahar, Executive Deputy Commissioner of NYS DEC.
DEC conducted testing at the potential superfund site of Dynamic Systems, Inc, also known as DSI, which found slightly elevated levels of PFAS.
“We don’t believe that this DSI facility or the groundwater there with this one small detection is connected hydrologically to what is going on at the Algonquin middle school. They are several miles apart, and water flow seems to be going in an opposite direction,” stated Mahar.
Poestenkill Town Supervisor, Keith Hammond said seven more well tests are being done around Algonquin and they are trying to find 13 more spots to test around DSI. When it comes to expanding the municipal water district for those impacted by the contaminates, Poestenkill might team up with Sand Lake.
“By working with Sand Lake, the funding goes from $3 million for Poestenkill to $10 million, so if we can work together for the town of Sand Lake, it’s a significant savings for our town,” said Hammond.
Students at the middle school have been drinking bottled water for a year now. According to Hammond, the school’s new drinking water carbon system is almost up and running, and should be ready in about a week.