New wells will ease dirty water issue

New wells will ease dirty water issue
Photo courtesy of Nolan Ynesta. A contaminated water sample collected in a bottle by Nolan Ynesta.

Moving the Granville Town Board meeting to Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the board received public participation from a concerned constituent of the North Granville water district.

Nolan Ynesta brought a water bottle full of dark brown contaminated water collected from a faucet in his house and asked the board and highway superintendent Scott Taylor for their definition of “dirty water.”

“Is there something that can help mitigate this (points to dirty water bottle) from coming out of my faucet?” Ynesta asked.

“Yes, we’re working on it,” Taylor said, “80 years of sediment laying at the bottom of that pipe. So every time something happens, it moves that stuff at the bottom.”

Taylor explained that the town highway department observed pump #1 of their pumphouse went down and was severely damaged on Nov. 5.

Installing an auxiliary pump as a temporary fix to the damaged pump, the auxiliary pump moved the water with more pressure and volume, ultimately stirring up the sediments in the 1940s WPA infrastructure that was evident in many of the 240 North Granville water district households’ faucets.

Taylor confirmed the damaged pump was rebuilt and retrieved on Nov. 10. Board member Tom Cosey asked if the different sizes of the original pump and auxiliary pump caused the malfunction and appearance of dirty water.

“I paid $265 to have that one rebuilt, you don’t wanna know what a new one is,” Taylor said. “The new one (the auxiliary pump), they fire so hard.”

“I think that was a contributing factor,” supervisor Matt Hicks said. “There are half a dozen reasons why that happened.”

Taylor and Hicks said the auxiliary pump has been in the town for more than 30 years but does not see a lot of action. It was discussed potentially firing up the backup pump once a year to keep it ready in case of an emergency.

“This is what you have, we inherited what you got and I know you’re doing your best, but I’m just wondering if this is the time to start thinking about matching those (the main pump and the auxiliary pump) up or doing something to eliminate that problem from happening again.”

Ynesta asked Taylor if a hydrant flush of the dirty water would be possible, with Taylor responding that the State Route 22 side of the water district doesn’t have enough water to flush out.

However, part of the North Granville water district project involves drilling into two separate wells to establish a larger supply of water, along with installing 240 water meters to report statistics and malfunctions straight to the town.

“If both new wells come online, we will have 60,000 gallons per minute more than what we had before,” Hicks said. “You take the infiltration system and the stream offline, we have two new systems, that means he (Taylor) will have the water to flush the system. We have to do the wells first to get a bigger volume to allow us to flush the system without sucking the tank down.

“Unfortunately, it’s A, B, C, D and E, and we’re on B,” Hicks said.

Ynesta was able to provide his contact information to the board to be placed on a robocall of notification when the town is going to flush hydrants or sees issues with the water district.

“I don’t blame you for being upset,” Hicks said. “I get it, it’s dirty. We’re trying to do the best we can.

“Between August of this year and the end of next year, we’ll be spending around $250,000 trying to help these things. There’s about $50,000 of new water meters going in. There’s about $50,000 of new wells going in and once those go in, that’s going to change your world… It (North Granville water district water) comes from an infiltration gallery. If we need it, it comes from a stream. But it comes from two wells, we’re going to get rid of the infiltration gallery and the streams when we need it and go strictly to wells. We’ll have one of them online in November and the other one in December (both in 2022), God willing.

“We’re going to spend $100,00 on the (pumphouse) building. You guys (the board and Taylor) tell me, I think that’s the bulk of the problem, is that antiquated building and all of the crap in there. We’re going to spend $100,000 to get that all up to snuff, all new electrical, all new pipes inside.”

Additionally in 2022, Taylor anticipates installing three water hydrants on State Route 22 to assist his efforts.

“I want to put three. One down there by Schoony’s, one by the ball field coming down by the tank and one back out farther by the firehouse,” Taylor said.

Although the credit could vary for each respective household, Hicks said the board will look into possible action of forgiving North Granville water district homeowners for having to run their faucets of dirty water when trying to bathe, cook and do laundry and dishes. Ynesta told the board he was advised to run his faucet 20-30 minutes at a time to filter out the dirty water.

“We’ll talk about doing that but let me make sure it’s not a software issue that we can do without reinventing the wheel,” Hicks said. “Let me look into it.”