Guilford struggles with water source issues

GUILFORD – Least year’s hurricane brought issues with the hamlet of Guilford’s main water source to the forefront of officials’ minds. The hurricane washed away about 10 feet of the embankment directly bellow County Rd. 35, between the lake’s spillway and the hamlet’s water treatment plant. About 30 feet, or three sections, of the piping was exposed. The exposure necessitated an emergency fix and large rocks were placed both underneath the three sections of piping for support, as well as on top of the piping to provide a measure of protection.

“The piping is old and has been an issue for at least 15 years,” said Guilford’s Town Supervisor George Seneck. A few years ago the town tried to use pigging, a form of pipe maintenance and cleaning, to fix the piping, but was informed that the pipeline was not straight enough to preform the procedure.

The issue has been further complicated by two other factors. As an open water source, the lake is vulnerable to contamination and the state has begun to strongly encourage hamlets, such as Guilford, to adopt closed water sources. Open water sources are also much more costly to treat than closed sources, such as wells. Mt. Upton, which uses a well and services a comparable amount of people, spends almost half of what Guilford does on water treatment each year, Seneck estimated. Residents of Guilford subsequently pay almost twice as much as Mt. Upton residents do for their water, he said. Town officials have been working diligently to come up with a solution that rectifies this disparity.

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