Lowville Water Shortage: How Did No One See it Coming?

Lowville Water Shortage: How Did No One See it Coming?

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The village of Lowville's water shortage stems from an increase in water usage by the Kraft-Heinz plant and an aging water filtration system.

But how did no one see this coming?

It may be as simple as Kraft and Village officials interpreting information differently. If you look at paperwork from early in the project you can see Kraft stated how much it would need; 900,000 gallons a day, more than what the plant was using before.

And when the planning board reviewed the effects of the expansion it determined there would be no impact to public or private water supply. The problem may come down to how each party interpreted "a day."

The village presumed it meant 900,000 gallons used over 24 hours. But in practice, Kraft is using that water in a 6-8 hour window. That rapid use, as opposed to a sustained draw from the water supply is causing the issues.

"Unfortunately you plan for it and you think you're gonna be ok, but you don't always know exactly what's gonna happen until your there with your boots on the ground," Lowville Mayor Donna Smith said.

Kraft has said in a statement that it is working on short and long term ways to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile Lewis County officials say they're prepared to help out if necessary.

Lewis County Manager Ryan Piche said, "At this point we're just keeping an eye on things. It's an issue that we've been prepared to become more involved in. But right now it's between the village and their water users."

Overnight Thursday into Friday, Lowville's water supply did go back up a little bit, but the village is still under an order to conserve water. No long term solutions have been announced yet.

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