Beekmantown residents upset over road salt in water

Town officials making efforts to solve well contamination problems

by Teah Dowling, originally posted on December 30, 2016


BEEKMANTOWN — Kevin Sponable brought a dishwasher rack, dark with brown stains, to a recent town board meeting.

The Ashley Road resident said road salt has been leaching into his private well.

“There’s obviously a problem,” said Sponable. “Something needs to be done.”

Sponable said he noticed an issue with his water supply back in 2010 but could still use the water.

But the quality declined and now the water is “unusable,” he said, and must resort to purchasing water for drinking and cooking. Water from a spring is hauled by pick-up truck and placed in storage tanks for other water uses, like showering.

“I’ve invested a lot of money in all of this,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

This salt contamination issue in Sponable’s water supply isn’t the first complaint made to the town.

Residents voiced concerns last September, including Sally Yanulavich, who expressed dismay over what she said was salty and grainy drinking water.

Signs were recently put up by the town at the Beekmantown Recreation Park and Pavilion to not drink the water since it was also found to be contaminated.

Several town residents believe the sediment is coming from the 50-foot exposed salt and sand pile located behind the town highway garage.

Relation said the source has not yet been determined.

This fall, Beekmantown received $500,000 from the state to construct a new storage facility to accommodate 12,000 yards of mixed sand and salt. Supervisor Dennis Relation said the town is aiming to complete the structure by next fall.

In the meantime, Relation said the town’s engineer is in the process of coming up with a plan to address the current well contamination problem.

esting more wells, he said, is more than likely going to be part of that plan.

Relation did not give out a date on when that plan would be completed.

“We’re not going to drag our feet,” he said. “But we need to get more information in order to move forward.”

While waiting for the plan to be completed, town officials encourage residents to keep on an eye on their water supply.

According the state Department of Health, drinking water with an excess amount of sodium could create health concerns, especially to people with high blood pressure, which could lead to cardiovascular disease if left untreated.

The department suggests testing water periodically for contaminants.

The Plattsburgh WPCP Laboratory and Endyne Inc in Plattsburgh are the only two places in Clinton County certified by the NYSDOH Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) to test drinking water.

“If I wanted to sell my house, I wouldn’t be able to because of my water,” Sponable said. “This problem needs to be addressed.”

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