Town officials in East Lyme have ordered mandatory water conservation measures for all East Lyme water customers following a recent diesel spill at York Correctional Institution in Niantic.
The spill came from leaking underground pipes connecting a fuel tank with the prison's main generators. The leak was discovered, which is close to the town's water supply, about three weeks ago and quickly fixed.
"Not so much seeping in, but seeping in the neighborhood of it," said East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica.
However, it wasn't highly publicized because officials didn't think there was much to be concerned about.
Now that the leak was sealed, an environmental contractor needs to conduct daily soil and well testing as part of their cleanup plan to make sure the water is safe to drink. To get that done, sacrifices need to be made.
"There's no worries about our water supply now," Formica said. "It's just the potential of worry, so we want to err on the side of caution."
People have to cut back on their water use starting Thursday morning and running through the long holiday weekend.
"I wish it didn't happen at all," said Formica when asked about if he wished the water restriction was not during the holiday weekend.
Those found breaking the mandatory restriction will be fined.
Some neighbors told Eyewitness News they are willing to deal with the inconvenience for safety's sake.
"I wouldn't want to drink water that's bad or contaminated," said Karen Yuhas of East Lyme.
Currently no contaminated soil has been located outside prison grounds and the testing is precautionary.
Results should be back by next week. The testing will have no impact on the July 4 celebrations happening this weekend in East Lyme.
According to a press release from the Connecticut Department of Correction the reduced demand on the town's water supply will assist the company in their data collection efforts.
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