Crawford will try once again to secure funding for the Dwaar Kill-Pine Bush Water Supply System, which will provide water to the town from county lands.
The plan includes the installation of a treatment building, pumps, accessories and a transmission main connecting the Dwaar Kill wellfields to the existing Pine Bush Water Supply.
Town Supervisor Charles Carnes said three wells have been tested at the county owned Dwaar Kill wellfield, two of which provide adequate water both in quantity and quality. The third well would need further treatment and would only be used if there was a need.
The next phase of the plan is for the installation of a treatment building and the transmission main. If approved, the treatment process will include chlorination and the removal of iron and manganese.
The town will apply for a New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation grant for the next phase of the project. The grant would cover about 60 percent of the project, which is estimated to cost between $4 and $4.7 million, Carnes said.
The town applied for the grant last year and failed to receive it. The grant application for this year is due in September.
The town is also exploring other sources of water closer to the hamlet of Pine Bush.
In the meantime, the town has invested in its existing water infrastructure with the help of JCO, Inc. the town water and sewer administrator. The firm was hired Jan. 1 after former Superintendent of Water and Sewer Tom McKelvey retired.
Carnes said the town has spent about $250,000 this year on improvements for water safety and quality. The town has replaced most broken fire hydrants and flushed water lines.
Carnes said water quality and quantity has improved, although there have been a few complaints.
“All lines have been flushed and quality of water has improved. Supply is adequate at this time,” Carnes said. “There are very complaints except for some black water. This is usually old pipes in the homeowner lines or sediment in hot water heaters and water softeners in homes.”
Still, complaints of poor water quality persist.
Ida Brown is one of those residents. In a letter to the town water and sewer department, Brown said she has been experiencing black water for more than a year. Last year when she called the town, Brown was told the black water was due to the rain and the construction on NYS Route 302.
Brown’s in-home filters require changing every two months, or she gets black water. Last month, it was difficult to shut off the water, resulting in black sludge flooding her basement.
Brown’s neighbors told her the town replaced supply lines from the street to their houses, eliminating their issues. Brown has not had her lines replaced, and continues to experience black water, as of her letter on Aug. 6.
Pine Bush resident Jay Deutsch said his water smells and tastes terrible, and leaves a yellow stain on shower curtains, towels and walls. Pictures of his home show a yellow film on shower curtains and filmy water. He does not cook, clean or drink water from the tap.
Deutsch said a Crawford water inspector visited his home about two months ago. The inspector said the water quality is poor and his pipes need to be flushed.
A 2018 water quality report concluded there were no violations for water quality that year and Crawford’s water met or exceeded state requirements. However, the report did note two samples from 2017 of E. Coli that exceeded the regulatory limit.