A water debate raging for months enters a new phase on Friday with a senate bill set to be heard that seeks to regulate a proposed water bottling facility in Bloomfield.
Residents said they're hopeful the bill will protect them in ways their local officials have not.
People living in West Hartford and Bloomfield said they're upset that it's come to this point and set a news conference of their own to rally support ahead of the hearing.
Meeting after meeting was held in both towns. The result was a number of unhappy residents.
They said they were furious over a planned 443,000 square foot water bottle facility for Niagara Bottling of California.
"The primary issue here is water conservation," said Neal Spencer of West Hartford. "Water being taken for a cheap cost that's being co-modified by corporations."
Niagara's facility would draw from the Metropolitan District Commission facility serving West Hartford and Bloomfield.
Opponents of the plan are concerned they may pay more in the long run for higher sewer rates and costs for the water itself.
If there's a water emergency, they also question who has priority between the people and the plant.
Compounding their anger is an apparent tax abatement giving by the town of Bloomfield to Niagara to build the factory.
Niagara said its plant will only use about 2 percent of the MDC's daily water supply and that it will pay the same rate as other customers.
At 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Democratic Sen. Beth Bye said she'll join the groups opposing the plant for the news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The hearing itself is set for 11 a.m.
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Hundreds of people in Bloomfield attended a meeting on Monday night regarding plans for a water-bottling plant.