Homeowners look to state to fix never-ending pipe damage - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Homeowners look to state to fix never-ending pipe damage

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The salt in the water is affecting these family's pipes, among other things (WFSB) The salt in the water is affecting these family's pipes, among other things (WFSB)

A few months ago, Channel 3 exposed the never-ending pipe damage a handful of homeowners were living within the northern part of the state.

Those neighbors in Woodstock had a feeling the problem was with a salt storage shed nearby.

The state confirmed that it was indeed their fault.

It’s been months, and Monique Maldonado’s pipes are still corroding.

“They're continuing to corrode,” Maldonado said.

Tests done in November showed sodium and chloride levels at her home on Route 198 were many times over the state approved limits.

It had Maldonado and her family drinking, cooking and even bathing with bottled water provided by the state.

“We're kind of fed up, as our neighbors are,” she said.

They're still living that nightmare that's gone on for two years, but a resolution for her and four other homes is finally in sight.

The Department of Transportation says they were doing tests even before the story on Channel 3 aired but coincidentally, another inspection was done days after.

The state tested the ground and the water for days before visiting with all families to tell them the aquifer was contaminated with chlorides.

“So how do you fix that? It's going to take decades probably for that to correct itself,” Maldonado said.

The state says the problem came from a salt storage facility, but not the salt shed itself. Rather, it was the dumping of the snow.

Crews put it on grass, and the salt leached into the ground eventually getting into the water.

Now, crews are told to put the snow on asphalt.

“It's carelessness. Now we're paying the price for it,” Maldonado said.

The state confirms this is a tricky problem that will take time to fix. Right now, there are options for an individual or a community well.

“A community well would most likely be the best solution because then the state would have to regulate it forevermore. We wouldn't be responsible for it,” Maldonado said.

Additionally, the state says a reverse osmosis system would potentially need to be installed uniquely in each home and it would receive ongoing, permanent maintenance.

“It's very hard to sell a house when you have that system. It's like a red flag to any buyers who come along,” Maldonado said.

Homeowners will be waiting, since the state seems to be going home by home, they're worried, it'll be years before they see change.

“We're thinking it's going to take another at least two years,” Maldonado said.

The I-Team isn’t the only one monitoring this. Woodstock’s Conservation Commission is now involved, and they said they’re looking to test other local wells.

“To see how wide the plume is, we want wells monitored in the future to make sure it's not expanding,” said Dr. Lee Wesler, chairman of Woodstock’s Conservation Commission.

So we know the potential solutions. Right now, the big question for these homeowners is when will this happen, and the DOT says soon.

They're still analyzing and having internal meetings and will have a timeline when they're over.

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