State lets West Carthage average 2 labs’ drinking water results

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - New York state will allow West Carthage to average the numbers from recent drinking water test results. One set came back high while another set on the same water was drastically lower. Expensive fixes were at stake.

“I was very pleased that the local office of the Department of Health out of Watertown was in support of us averaging out the tests,” said West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto.

He’s talking about the village’s first quarter water test results from Adirondack Environmental Services and a second set of results from Life Science Laboratories.

They’re two certified labs that, in February, came back with drastically different data. One lab showed 126 micrograms per liter of haloacetic acid in the village water, more than twice what’s allowed.

The other lab found 53 micrograms per liter, within state limits.

“We would still, even with the average, be just over the limit but a lot closer to the limit and what we need to do to get within compliance,” said Burto.

Burto says this determination from the state could have bigger implications because West Carthage isn’t the only municipality locally that gets its water tested by Adirondack Environmental Services.

He says many north country communities have experienced higher readings of byproducts in water samples over the last two years.

“It’s just odd different types of water systems and filtration systems have the same issue and the same increase in the readings over the same time period,” he said.

In the letter, the state says it will not consider averaging out future water samples without its prior approval.

Burto says while the village waits for an answer on the state’s full investigation into the different data readings, he reminds residents the water is safe to use.