BROADALBIN - More than 10 years ago, town officials found that salt from the town's storage shed was contaminating residential wells on Union Mills Road.
The problem forced 20 residences on the road to use bottled water as the town and village worked out a plan to extend municipal water to the homes. Residents waited through years of delays and a three-year water project.
Last week, the wait ended. The last of the water lines were connected and the water coming from the faucets now is useable.
Matt Carter, a resident of Union Mills Road in
Broadalbin, fills a glass of water from the new water line that was turned on last week.
John Borgolini/ The Leader-Herald
Town Supervisor Joe DiGiacomo said he was happy the project was finally complete.
"I'm extremely happy that it's finally done," he said. "It's been a long time coming, and we jumped through a bunch of hoops for the [state] Department of Health ... Most of the residents are pretty happy, and I don't think they believed me when I told them it was finally going to be done."
The water lines have been connected to the houses for the last two years, but Department of Health officials said the lines needed reduced pressure-zone devices installed on them to prevent any back-flow from the wells getting into the village water.
The devices were installed beginning last summer.
Residents say they are happy they no longer have to use bottled water - which the town paid for - or rely on water delivery.
Union Mills Road resident Janet Carter said her family had to rely on the contaminated well water for utilities, which she said was causing damage.
"I think we're on our fifth water tank. I think we've had three washers, and I don't know how many faucets we've had to replace," Carter said. "It seemed like every few years, the salt was just eating everything up, so we just had to keep replacing everything."
For drinking purposes, Carter said her family would fill up 30 gallons of water at a time, and recently bought a cold-water cooler and had water delivered to their home.
Another resident, Patrick Doyle, said the village water line is good because the residents don't have to keep changing filters and filling up gallons of water at the local springs.
"It's made life much easier, and the water is tasting good," Doyle said. " ... We don't have to change that filter once a month, and boy, did it get dirty."
Across the street, Paul Meacham said he hasn't been able to use the water yet because he knows his pipes are contaminated from their previous hookup to the well.
Still, he said, it is eventually going to be great having the village water.
"To have drinkable water in your house and not have to have a bottle of water right there when you're brushing your teeth is going to be great," Meacham said. "You couldn't even use the well water because is was contaminated so severly."
Residents are being charged more than double the village water rate because they live outside the village.
The project cost the town $500,000. The town has paid $100,000 over the last two years. DiGiacomo said it will take several more years for the town to pay back the remaining $400,000.