Trustees concerned about floodwater at SL treatment plant

Some members of the Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees are concerned that flood waters may have entered a pair of wells near the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

During Monday night's regular board meeting, Trustee Jeff Branch wondered if the state Department of Health could take action against the village if it's found that flooding negatively impacted the groundwater wells.

Village Manager John Sweeney says the wells are capped, but there is some standing water behind the sewer plant following more than a week of flooding along the Saranac River.

Branch notes that both wells are part of the village's multi-million dollar water project. He's worried that because of the flooding, the state will come in and tell the village it can't use the wells as a source of drinking water.

"I'm concerned that when we expend all this money, the health department may come by and say, 'Wait, you can't draw water from that' or we're going to be under order on consents to boil because the well site is flooded," he said. "Is there any assurance that that's not going to happen or can we get a statement from the DOH that that will not be a concern in the future?"

Branch's question was directed at Sweeney, who said he can't predict what the health department will do.

"You're asking for an assurance and I'm sure that I won't get one - because the rules potentially change no matter how we look at it," Sweeney said. "But the questions are being asked to the DOH in reference to this so I'm hoping to get some kind of response in the near future."

According to Trustee John McEneany, the village already looked into concerns about placing wells for drinking water near a sewage plant.

"When we first went down this road - to locate a well on the sewer treatment plant - obviously the first question is, 'How are the two going to mix?'" he said.

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