Saugerties seeks secondary water source

Blue Mountain Reservoir (Photo by Doug Freese)

Blue Mountain Reservoir (Photo by Doug Freese)

Saugerties village trustees have hired the engineering firm of Leggette, Brashears and Graham, Inc., to search out a secondary water source needed in case something happens to the Blue Mountain Reservoir, the village’s primary water source.

Mike Hopf, who runs the village water department, says the $39,000 contract is part of the state’s Disaster Recovery New York Rising Community Reconstruction project.

While a secondary water source has not been formally decided, Hopf said all signs point to the suitability of a section of Winston Farm, the site of last year’s Hudson Project and Woodstock ’94 music festival.


Over the course of more than 30 years, the Winston Farm, in addition to being a concert venue, has been mentioned as the perfect site for a number of proposals, including a landfill and a casino. During that time, according to Hopf, a number of hydrology tests have been conducted. It’s been determined that a large aquifer lies underneath the land.

The engineering firm’s job, Hopf says, is to begin negotiating easements with the landowners so that test borings can be dug. A test well will help determine the amount and quality of the water in the aquifer. How much water can be pumped in an hour will be measured.

The well test will be a 24-hour test to make sure the site is suitable as a secondary source of water, or even as a primary source should something happen at the reservoir.

If the site is adequate for the village water company’s 1500 customers’ needs, the village, with the assistance of the engineering firm, will enter into negotiations to either get easements for a wellhead on the site or to purchase a portion of the land. As a last resort, the village can get control of the land through eminent domain.

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