Woodstock families still seeking help with salt-poisoned water - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-TEAM

Woodstock families still seeking help with salt-poisoned water

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The Maldonado family said they have replaced five water heaters in six years. (WFSB) The Maldonado family said they have replaced five water heaters in six years. (WFSB)
WOODSTOCK, CT (WFSB) -

Families in Woodstock are still looking for help after dangerous levels of salt essentially poisoned their water.

They said pipes continue to erode.

The source has been a Department of Transportation facility.

The I-Team has been following the story for the past six months.

It found that progress was made and a solution is on the table; however, things also became worse.

The families said until the solution is implemented, the problems won't go away.

When the I-Team met the Maldonado family in November, their home on Route 198 was rotting from the inside out. Pipes were corroded, water heaters were broken and the tap water caused sink problems.

The root of the problem was that their well was contaminated with dangerous levels of sodium. The state accepted responsibility.

"I just feel defeated," said Monique Maldonado of Woodstock. "I'm so exhausted from running place to place to take showers [and] boil our water all the time. It's just exhausting."

In November, the main water source for several families came from bottles paid for by the state. As of Monday, that hadn't changed.

"We go through quite a bit because we have to use it for everything," Monique Maldonado said.

In fact, the family said they use more bottled water now than they were in November because once again, their hot water heater broke from sodium corrosion. It flooded their basement.

The heater was only a year old.

If that wasn't bad enough, pipes were also corroding at the seams where lead solder is. The family said that element is showing up in the water.

Instead of buying their sixth water heater in six years, they're opting to heat their water on the stove.

The Maldonados wash their hair in the kitchen.

In the I-Team's November report, the state promised to find a solution. The plan continues to be to build new wells for each affected home in the area.

Neighbors said the Department of Transportation dragged its feet for months before making the announcement.

"We'd have to squeak the wheel again and they started to do stuff," said Bonnie Regis of Woodstock.

Maps showed where the new wells would be built. Residents said they were satisfied with that solution.

However, they said they're not happy because it hasn't happened yet.

After years of dealing with corrosive salt, they said they don't know how much longer they can wait.

"Everybody is on edge, everybody is grouchy and at each other's throats," Monique Maldonado said.

Though the Maldonados and two other families are still in limbo, neighbors call them the lucky ones.

Neighbors said six homes have been damaged by the sodium. The state has only reached out to three with the new well option.

Roy Morin said he has been dealing with the same problems and even got bottled water from the state. He said he's seemingly been forgotten.

"I've heard nothing from the state whatsoever," Morin said. "I haven't had an engineer at my house, absolutely nobody telling me how they're going to rectify my problem."

The I-Team said it was going to get answers on Tuesday, including how the problem began.

Neighbors said even once the solution is in place, they want restitution for the years of problems and thousands of dollars in repairs.

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