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For Release: Friday, March 4, 2016

State Issues Update on Ongoing Actions to Address PFOA Contamination at Hoosick

Receive Results for An Additional 153 Wells; 190 Water Filtration Systems Installed; Flushing Process Continues, Completed in Five of Six Zones

The State Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation announced additional water sample results as they continue to aggressively provide drinking water acceptable for all uses in the Town of Hoosick and Village of Hoosick Falls. Since February 27, DOH has received results of another 153 water samples and 190 water filtration systems have been installed. Additionally, residential flushing continues throughout the Village ahead of schedule with five zones completed with last one to start in the coming days.

DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Under the Governor's direction, all hands are on deck to bring clean drinking water to residents in the Hoosick Falls area. We made significant progress in installation of carbon filtration systems on private wells in the area and will continue to work as quickly as possible to get these systems online."

DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Flushing of the Village's water mains and distribution system continues and we are making great progress. We have moved quickly, while at the same time taken extra precautions to minimize water pressure losses at homes, and ensure that enough water is available if needed for firefighting."

Water Sampling and Installation of Water Filtration Systems

DEC continued installation of point of entry treatment (POET) filtration systems for homes with private wells with a total of 190 installed. Another 40 are scheduled to be installed this weekend. DEC has received 521 requests for POETs, with 240 requests this week, and performed 386 pre-evaluations which are necessary prior to installing the systems. Of those, 225 pre-evaluations were completed this week.

Carbon canisters are being pre-flushed at an off-site central location. Empty canisters are initially installed and replaced with pre-flushed carbon canisters. After installation of the complete system, it is checked to ensure proper connections. After the complete system is installed, homeowners must flush their pipes and are provided instructions on how to do so. After installation, DEC will sample the tap water to determine it is acceptable for all uses. Residents are advised to continue drinking bottled water and refrain from drinking and cooking with water from the public system and with POET systems at private homes until DEC or DOH advises that the water is acceptable for all uses.

DOH announced results for an additional 153 water test results received since Friday February 26, which include 146 results that were less than the EPA Advisory level of 100 part per trillion (ppt) and seven that have levels of PFOA at or above the EPA Advisory level of 100 ppt. Of the 146 under the EPA Advisory of 100 ppt, 82 have PFOA levels of less than 2 ppt (i.e. non detection of PFOA) and 64 have levels between 2 and 100 ppt. DOH has also taken an additional 196 water samples since last Saturday.

This Week's Water Results

Public and Private Well Sampling in Hoosick Falls February 26 to March 4, 2016
Total Results Received 153
Total Results with levels of PFOA below 2 parts per trillion (ppt) (i.e. non-detection of PFOA) 82
Total Results with levels of PFOA between 2 and 50 ppt 50
Total Results with levels of PFOA between 50 and 100 ppt 14
Total Results with levels of PFOA Over 100 ppt 7
Public and Private Well Sampling in Hoosick Falls February 26 to March 4, 2016
Total Results Below EPA Local Guidance of 100 ppt 146
Total Results Above EPA Local Guidance of 100 ppt 7

Total Results to Date

Public and Private Well Sampling in Hoosick Falls TOTAL SAMPLES TO DATE
Total Results Received 298
Total Results with levels of PFOA below 2 parts per trillion (ppt) (i.e. non-detection of PFOA) 123
Total Results with levels of PFOA between 2 and 50 ppt 105
Total Results with levels of PFOA between 50 and 100 ppt 21
Total Results with levels of PFOA Over 100 ppt 49

Flushing Village Water Distribution System

Most of the Village's water delivery system has been successfully flushed. With the installation of the temporary water filtration system, the Village's water mains and distribution system will now be flushed with clean, filtered water, to remove residual PFOA. During the flushing process, residents may notice lower water pressure, and tap water may be cloudier than usual. These are common to the flushing process and are not cause for concern. Until the water distribution system has been flushed and retested, residents should continue to use bottled water or in-home filtration.

To take extra precautions to ensure the water distribution system is not overwhelmed, the neighborhoods served by the Village water system has been divided into six zones, and the flushing process is being conducted on a zone-by-zone basis, to ensure contaminants are removed and the water system is not overwhelmed. To date, four of the Village's six zones have been successfully flushed. Once the water mains in each zone have been flushed, residents in that zone will be provided with information on flushing out the plumbing in their homes.

DEC evaluated the potential impact flushing could have on the Hoosic River and does not anticipate any significant effects. The amount of flush water to be discharged will be greatly diluted by the flow of the river. DEC expects any increase in the PFOA level in the Hoosic River to be negligible. DEC will monitor the PFOA level in the river throughout the course of the flush discharge. The river is not used as a drinking water source.

Flushing Indoor Plumbing Systems

Flushing indoor plumbing systems can be done quickly and simply. However, it is important that residents wait until the water mains and distribution systems in their neighborhood are flushed before they flush their indoor plumbing.

Key points on flushing indoor plumbing systems:

  • Residents of the Village will be notified when the distribution system in their neighborhood will be flushed. Residents will receive written guidance on how to flush their plumbing and when they should do so. It will take about a half hour to flush your home.
  • While the flushing process is taking place, residents may notice discoloration of their water, and may also have issues with water pressure in their homes. This is not a cause for concern, and is normal for any flushing process.
  • Water samples will be routinely taken and monitored - before, during and after the flushing of the system and at various points in the distribution system.
  • Bottled water will continue to be provided at no cost at Tops Friendly Market on Route 22.
  • In addition, it's important to note that there is no need for residents to flush outdoor spigots. If they choose to do so, they should run the water for about one minute, either onto the ground or into a small pail which can then be emptied into a sink in their home. Residents should not drain their swimming pools at this point. DOH and DEC are developing a protocol to properly drain swimming pools, which will be complete in time for the summer swimming season.

Keeping Residents Informed

NYSDOH continues to notify the Village and residents on private wells in the Town with the results of ongoing water sampling. In addition, NYSDOH will continue to communicate with residents using the following material:

  • Door hangers: Door hangers with general information about the flushing program and specific instructions on flushing their indoor plumbing will be distributed door-to-door to the homes of Hoosick Falls Village residents on the public water supply on the day the flushing process begins and will be posted on the NYSDOH website.
  • Fact Sheets: Fact sheets describing the process will also be distributed door-to-door to the homes of Hoosick Falls residents, will be available at the informational sessions at the Armory and will also be posted on the NYSDOH website.
  • Residents renting their home or property should consult with the landlord to discuss a flushing plan for the whole building.

To Learn More

Staff from both agencies have been holding informational sessions every Tuesday (2 p.m. to 8 p.m.), Thursday (2 p.m. to 8 p.m.), and Saturday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), to help residents.

Additionally, the Department of Financial Services has set up a Mobile Command Center in Hoosick Falls to assist and provide information to homeowners and residents who may have been impacted by recent mortgage-related events following PFOA contamination in the local water supply. The Mobile Command Center will be set up at HAYC3 Armory located at 80 Church Street in Hoosick Falls during the regularly scheduled DOH and DEC information session on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More information is available by calling the Hoosick Falls water hotline at: 800-801-8092 FREE (Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.).

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