Residents advised drinking water may have been contaminated

CHAMPLAIN The village and town of Champlain instituted a Do Not Drink order earlier this week due to possible contamination at the village of Champlains water treatment plant. According to a press release issued by village officials Feb. 12, residents were urged not to use water for drinking, cooking, bathing, brushing teeth or washing hands. Deputy village clerk Donna Barcomb confirmed the existence of the order Tuesday afternoon, stating it was the result of a oil-like substance found in a barrel of chlorine used to treat the municipal water system. State Department of Health officials were called in to investigate the incident and conducted several tests of the substance and water supply. Results were expected later in the week. It was unknown as of Wednesday morning what the contaminant was or if it had reached the municipal water supply. The health department has put down petroleum as a possible contaminant, said Ms. Barcomb. We dont know that for sure. It looks like it has an oily film to it but doesnt look like something youd put in your car or anything like that. At this point, we dont know what it is, if its anything to be concerned about or if it even got into the system. We obviously wanted to err on the side of caution, Mayor Jeffrey Moore said of the decision to issue the order. This was picked up on rather quickly ... I want to commend everyone involved. This has gone very well for an emergency situation. Due to the nature of potential contamination, boiling water would not be effective, said Mayor Moore. However, water may be used for flushing toilets. In addition, a water conservation order was issued. Water is currently being shuttled from Rouses Point while the matter is being investigated, said Mayor Moore. The village began offering bottled drinking water to residents affected by the order Wednesday. When this newspaper went to press, that was expected to continue 12-6 p.m. daily, until the matter is resolved. For more information, please contact the village of Champlain offices at 298-4152 or the Clinton County Health Department at 565-4870. The North Countryman will continue to follow this matter as it develops.

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