Underground fuel leak identified as cause of New Paltz water contamination

On Tuesday afternoon, spill team officials were using testing strips to detect possible sources of contamination at Reservoir #4, located close to Mountain Rest Road in the Town of New Paltz. (Photo by Erin Quinn)

DEC and Village of New Paltz officials have determined that the likely cause of the sheen observed on Village Reservoir #4 is a compromised underground fuel line for the village’s water treatment plant heating system. DEC Spill Response experts are overseeing development and implementation of a cleanup plan to address this spill, according to the state.

The village has bypassed this reservoir while investigations of the drinking water supply continue and sampling results are analyzed. The Department of Health is working with local officials to implement a plan to conduct a comprehensive flushing of the water in the village’s distribution system so the do not drink advisory can be safely and effectively lifted.


Bottled water being distributed at village hall. (Village of New Paltz)

For the time being, a “do not drink” advisory is in effect for municipal water in the village and in town water districts. Bottled water and/or self-serve tankers (bring your own receptacle) are available in the following locations:

  • Village Hall (Plattekill Ave.) (bottled water and tank)
  • Meadowbrook apartments (off Henry W. Dubois Dr.) (water tank)
  • Town and Country apartments (off Huguenot St.) (water tank)
  • Huguenot Park apartments (Chestnut St.) (water tank)
  • SUNY New Paltz Peregrine Dining Hall (water tank)
  • SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building (bottled water)

The self-serve water tanks can be used 24/7. Bottled water distribution for the general public is 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Residents can obtain potable water from this tanker at village hall. (Photo by Al Alexsa)

SUNY New Paltz cancelled all classes effective 3:30 p.m. yesterday and asked students to leave  campus by noon today. International students and those who can’t obtain transportation will remain on campus, where the dining hall will be open and bottled water will be provided.

New Paltz Central School District (K-12) schools are open today and Thursday, and scheduled to be closed Friday and Monday for the holiday weekend. Bottled water has been distributed to the schools.

For regular updates, check the New Paltz Village website or Facebook page.


There is one comment

  1. Jon levin

    Just wondering how long we’ve been drinking contaminated water. It sounds like this leak began months ago. Though it might not have been as visible, it seems to me that chemically it still might have been dispersed in the water?

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