Orleans Residents Get Look at VA Tech Contaminated Water Study

Orleans Residents Get Look at VA Tech Contaminated Water Study

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It's the first look at a study that aims to show how badly water in the town of Orleans is contaminated. Virginia Tech researchers presented the results to residents Saturday afternoon at the Fishers Landing Fire Department.

"This is the first time we really sat down with residents and talked about what the results are and this is the first time everyone's seeing the laboratory experiment," said Virginia Tech researcher Kelsey Piper.

Those results indicated that 90% of Orleans residents tested in the study have corrosive water.

For years, people in the town have complained that their tap water was contaminated by road salt from a nearby state Department of Transportation barn... damaging pipes and appliances in their homes among other things.

Residents have had to use spring water to wash and drink with.

This experience made Orleans resident Stephanie Weiss first reach out to researchers in 2015.

"Personally, we've had high lead levels with young children in our house, which is a major health concern for us," said Weiss. "The infrastructure of our home is compromised and that's caused a major issue for us and a lot of our neighbors as well."

For the most part, residents felt the study results were helpful and a step in the right direction. However, there's still some frustration on where to go from here and building a water line for residents.

"Everyone's frustrated. There are people who are having ongoing issues and although the town is doing their best to get the water line in it's a long process and it takes a lot of time," said Weiss.

Orleans Town supervisor Kevin Rarick said the town plans to build the $13 million water line and install the pipes in the spring. The project goes out to bid in January.

Since most of the water in the town of Orleans comes from private wells, homeowners are faced with major costs as a result of this problem. As for the study, the team from Virginia Tech plans to come back to do more research, digging deeper into how this problem all started. 

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