Durham holds meeting on water issue - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Durham holds meeting on water issue

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Town officials to meet about water issue in Durham (WFSB) Town officials to meet about water issue in Durham (WFSB)

Healthy clean water may finally be coming to residents in Durham plagued for decades by contamination from a federal superfund site.

An empty lot on Main Street is ground zero for the superfund site. Back in 1998, a manufacturing company was at that location and burned to the ground. Ever since, the EPA has been testing the well water at that location and it’s not good. 

The tap water running out of Colleen Darnell's faucet is undrinkable. The well water that she and about 100 other neighbors along the historic Main Street strip draw from, contains toxic chemicals.

The chemicals that leached into the groundwater from an old manufacturing company plant that burned down.

"We use it to brush our teeth but that's it,” Darnell said. “It doesn't taste bad. It’s a trace chemical that they're concerned about."

In order to get the chemical out, the EPA provided treatment systems for effected residents along with bottled water.

Those effected are in the superfund site on Main Street and running south to Maple Avenue.

"We've been planning this for the last 10 years and we finally almost have a fully designed plan,” Durham First Selectman Laura Francis said. “And we're just waiting on final approvals now."

Francis will reveal information on the $20 million plan on Wednesday night during a public meeting at the library. Francis told Eyewitness News if Middletown agrees to a water tank on Talcott Ridge Drive. The municipal water system will provide clean water to Durham residents maybe by 2019.

"We think we've addressed those concerns adequately, but we won't know that for sure when we have another workshop with the City Council of Middletown,” Francis on Alcott ridge neighbors said.

Even though there are no documented health concerns, residents forced to treat the contaminated well water and are anxious.

"Not just ingesting it, but bathing in it we just got a letter we're not supposed to use them in humidifiers,” Mary Elizabeth Taylor said.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Durham Public Library.

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