After water result discrepancies in West Carthage, three municipalities want to double-check their data

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 6:33 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - On the heels of a report that West Carthage saw discrepancies in two different drinking water tests, three other municipalities want to make sure their data is correct.

Last week, 7 News learned, after getting water test results back that showed a higher amount of haloacetic acid in the water, exceeding what’s allowed by the state, West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto decided to have a different lab do the same test on the same water. Those results came back drastically different, with about half the contaminants, and within state standards.

Another municipality that wants to double-check the data, the town of Champion.

Lab analysis at the Albany-based Adirondack Environmental Services, the same lab that showed high limits for West Carthage, also reports that town tested for haloacetic acid.

“Our engineers are monitoring that and taking a look at it. We are taking a look at it and if that’s something we need to do then we’ll do it,” said town of Champion Supervisor, Brian Peck.

When drinking water samples exceed 60 micrograms for too long, the state requires it to be fixed, and that could become costly. The town of Champion is already spending money on a fix.

“We started consulting with our engineer and water system administrators to take a look at why that might be an issue,” Peck said.

Burto previously told 7 News West Carthage’s renovations could cost millions. Peck has yet to determine the cost for Champion, but doesn’t think it would be cheap.

“We just want to make sure the baseline is accurate... Because we are making adjustments based off of that analysis,” he said.

Samples taken from town of Watertown Water District 1 also show elevated levels of disinfectant byproduct. Nothing remotely harmful, but after Mayor Burto’s findings, Town Supervisor Joel Bartlett said the town also plans to have it’s own independent analysis done of the water.

A third municipalitiy will double-check the data as well. In Evans Mills, numbers came back high. It plans to send out samples to two different labs, like West Carthage did.

As for the difference in numbers in West Carthage, the state says an investigation is underway.