Forestville Residents Unhappy About Water Supply

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Article courtesy of  | May 13, 2015 | The Buffalo News | Shared as educational material

FORESTVILLE – Residents were steaming Tuesday over the village’s water supply.

Residents complained to the Village Board about how the water tastes and smells foul. They said they wanted results of soil sample tests where the village’s wells are located.

In a prepared statement, Mayor Kevin Johnson said that one of the two wells was disconnected after it was learned that it contained hydrogen sulfide. The chemical is reportedly in about 20 percent of wells in the area, the mayor’s statement said. He said he believes the chemical was causing the problems.

The mayor said that the taste and odor of the water has improved since only one well is being used. Angela Bittinger, who attended the meeting, was one of the people wearing a T-shirt that read, “Have Safe Water,” and had a skull and crossbones emblem.

Bittinger said that the wells are near Bailey Manufacturing and the former Agway store and that chemicals may have contaminated the soil.

“There area a lot of suspicious things going on,” Bittinger said. “I am coming to you saying something is wrong.”

Johnson agreed that soil testing could be done at the site of the wells.

“I am willing to do new tests, but I am not willing to pay for tests that have already been taken,” he said.

Johnson said that test samples were taken May 1. Results from the tests are not available.

Several residents also pleaded with the board members not to complete the sale of more than 100 acres of land where the springs are located. The springs were used as a water source before the wells were put into use in 2014. The village experienced several droughts when the springs were a supply. Residents also were under Chautauqua County Health Department orders to boil water due to bacteria contamination.

The Health Department has been testing the well water and has not found it unsafe to drink.

While village residents are complaining about the water quality, Krista Miller, who lives about 150 feet outside the village limits, is approaching eight months without water. Her home used to be on a line that ran from the springs. When the springs were disconnected, she said, she lost her water source and was unable to have a safe water well drilled on her property. Miller said she is paying $600 per week to have water hauled to her home for her family of five.

She attended the Hanover Town Board meeting on Monday evening and received information on an engineering study about serving her house and one other home on Creek Road. Johnson told Miller that when Hanover officials approve a district for her residence, they would install the lines within a half-day and provide water to her home.

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