Please find here the latest information regarding the Town of New Windsor's Water System.
Today, with significant assistance from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), production of potable drinking water sourced from the Butterhill Wells has resumed, with the benefit of filtration through a newly constructed granular activated carbon filtration system (GAC system).
Testing of the filtered water has shown the GAC system is effectively and successfully reducing any PFOA/PFOS contamination to non-detect levels, as can be seen in the linked correspondence and chart of test results.
Letter from NYS DEC Regarding Well Sample Results | Butterhill Well GAC PFAS Sampling Results
More information regarding the above will be posted shortly.
On November 6, 2019, with significant assistance from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), production and distribution of potable drinking water sourced from the Butterhill Wells resumed with the benefit of filtration through a newly constructed granular activated carbon filtration system (GAC system). DEC paid for all costs related to this GAC system.
Information on GAC filtration can be found on the EPA Website: PFAS Drinking Water Treatment Technologies
Before any water was distributed for use by Town residents, testing was conducted to ensure it did not contain any detectable levels of the PFOA/PFOS compounds, which caused the Town to shut down the wells in May 2019. A summary of those test results, together with a letter received from DEC regarding those results, both of which demonstrated these compounds were not detected in the treated water, were posted previously. A more complete summary of the test results can be found here. The more complete test results show additional PFAS compounds (commonly referred to as “short chain” PFAS compounds) are also reduced to undetectable (or non-detect) levels with the benefit of the GAC filtration. During the shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct, DEC will continue to monitor PFAS levels in the treated water being provided to residents on a monthly basis. If PFAS compounds are detected in the treated water during this time, additional steps will be taken to ensure the water from these wells is filtered to non-detect levels or, to whatever extent possible, a different source of water will be used for provisions to the Town’s residents.
Please also note, since the new GAC system will only allow the Town to provide approximately 2.2 million gallons per day of potable drinking water from the Butterhill Wells, during the ten (10) week shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct, not everyone will receive their water from this source. The following map shows where each area of Town, in general, will receive water from:
As shown in the map above, the east end of Town will receive a blend of water from the Butterhill Wells (marked “BH”) and from an interconnection maintained with the City of Newburgh. Barring any issues with the Butterhill site, the majority of water distributed to this area will be from the Butterhill Wells. Any water drawn from the City of Newburgh during the shutdown is from Brown’s Pond and is treated to non-detect levels through their GAC filtration system.
Another area of Town will receive water during the shutdown solely from an interconnection maintained with the Town of Newburgh (see area on above map marked “TN”). This water is sourced from the Delaware Aqueduct and/or Chadwick Lake, both of which do not, to our knowledge, contain any detectable levels of PFAS compounds.
Finally, the west end of Town will receive a blend of water sourced from the Butterhill Wells and the Kroll Well. Water from Kroll Well is also treated through a GAC system and is tested on a monthly basis. Click on the following links for the most recent test results on Kroll
Please note, the shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct was initially scheduled to begin on October 7th, but was delayed. It began on November 11th and is scheduled to last for ten (10) weeks. Once it is over, it will take approximately one additional week until the system is fully operational. A decision as to where the Town’s water will be sourced following the ten (10) week shutdown has yet to be made. As decisions are made and/or more information becomes available, we will update the Town website and use other means to keep everyone apprised. If you have questions in the meantime, please call the Town Attorney’s Office at 845-563-4630. They will do all they can to respond to your inquiries or direct you to someone else who can.
The New York State Department of Health has advised the Town of New Windsor that low levels of PFOA and PFOS were detected in the Town’s Butterhill well location. The levels found are below the EPA lifetime health advisory and the NYS Drinking Water Quality Council’s recommended levels for such substances. Accordingly, the DOH says the water is acceptable for drinking.
Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution and in light of the precedent set when a similar situation arose with Kroll Well in 2017, the Town has decided to restart the Riley Road treatment Plant to begin using water from the Catskill Aqueduct. As soon as the Riley Road Plant is up and running, the Butterhill wells and treatment facility will be shut down until such time as the Town can be assured the water from these wells are non-detect for PFOA and PFOS.
On the left please see the April 4, 2019 NYSDOH letter with its test results under related documents. Also available under related documents are test results completed by the Town of New Windsor in May 2016, during the development of the Butterhill Wells; tests completed by the Town of New Windsor in in April, 2019, following receipt of the NYSDOH April 4th letter; and, a more detailed public announcement. Hard copies of these documents are available at the Town of New Windsor Town Clerk’s Office at 555 Union Avenue, New Windsor, NY 12553.
If you have any questions, please contact David Zagon, Town Attorney, at 845-563-4630
Since May 2, 2019, the Town of New Windsor has been working, in coordination with the State and County Departments of Health, to restart its water filtration plant at Riley Road in order to prepare it for the drawing and treatment of water from the Catskill Aqueduct for distribution it to its residents. On Wednesday, May 15th, the Town announced it has begun to introduce treated water from the Aqueduct supply into its distribution system.
The transition from the Butterhill Wells back to the Catskill Aqueduct will be gradual. Over the next few days, production rates at the Riley Road filtration plant will increase, as production at the Butterhill Treatment Plant is decreased. The temporary change-over is anticipated to be complete by Monday, 5/20/19. However, depending upon where residents are located in the distribution system, they may notice this change much sooner. As the waters are blended in the distribution system, and the source of supply causes a change in direction of flow in some locations, there may be changes in the disinfection rates, which cause residents to notice discoloration and odors in the water. Please note, neither is an issue of concern in terms of safety and both issues are expected to resolve on their own within a few days.
On a parallel track, the Town continues to talk with relevant State agencies about treatment/filtration options in order to filter the low levels of PFOA and PFOS that were detected in the water from the Butterhill wells so that these wells can be brought back on-line.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the New Windsor Town Attorney’s Office at 845-563-4630 or the Orange County Department of Health at 845-291-2332.
The Town of New Windsor has completed its transition and is now providing residents with water drawn from the Catskill Aqueduct. Please note, water from Butterhill Wells still remains in the distribution system and will require approximate one (1) additional week to work its way through.
There is no specific timetable for a return to provisions drawn from the Butterhill Wells. Discussions with relevant State agencies are ongoing to ensure a safe and adequate supply of water is available should the planned shutdown of the Aqueduct take effect in October and to ensure a safe and adequate supply of water is permanently available thereafter.
Any questions or concerns should continue to be directed to the Town Attorney's Office by calling 845-563-4630
At the July 3, 2019 New Windsor Town Board meeting, it was announced that extensive talks between the Town, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the NYS Department of Health (DOH), and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has led to an agreement whereby the State of New York will provide the Town with a temporary granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration system at the site of the Butterhill Treatment Plant.
As per the DEC, the system will be designed to remove PFAS, such as the PFOA and PFOS that were recently discovered in the water sourced from the Butterhill wells.
Design and installation will begin immediately with the stated goal of completion and operation in time for the planned shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct on October 7, 2019. Until that time, the Town plans to continue providing its users with water that is sourced from the Catskill Aqueduct.
During the shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct, which is expected to last 10-12 weeks, the Town plans to provide its users with water that is drawn from interconnections maintained with the Town of Newburgh (this water is sourced from the Delaware Aqueduct, Chadwick Lake and, at times, a blend of both Delaware and Chadwick Lake), water that is drawn from the Kroll Well (which is in the final stages of construction and testing of a similar GAC filtration system), and water from the Butterhill Wells, which will be treated through the aforementioned GAC filtration system. The DEC will continue to monitor both raw water, mid-point samples, and finished water samples from the Butterhill Wells during use of the GAC filtration system at Butterhill, in order to evaluate any changes in the levels of contaminants detected and determine if any additional action is needed. This continued monitoring will be part of the State’s continuing and ongoing investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination in the area, which data and information will then be used to determine whether a permanent treatment system will be needed.
Any questions concerning the GAC filtration system at Butterhill can be emailed to email@example.com. This inbox is monitored daily by the DEC, who will respond shortly after any such inquiry.
Once again, all Town officials would like to thank our residents and users for the continued support, understanding and cooperation as pertains to this issue. It is much appreciated!
Click HERE to view the Butterhill Wells Water Test Results, which were sampled on August 4, 2020.