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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Phoenicia Water District residents under boil water advisory

Story from Kingston Daily Freeman:

Posted: 01/26/14, 2:33 PM EST 

Phoenicia Water District residents are urged to boil their water after bitter cold temperatures resulted in a water shortage that forced the district to turn to a back-up pump system on the Esopus Creek, Water Commissioner Rick Ricciardella said.

He said the system was compromised during Hurricane’s Irene and Lee, prompting the advisory.

“We are chlorinating the water,” he said. “The Ulster County Board of Health just ordered the advisory as a precaution.”

He said approximately 950 residents, along with a senior residence and Phoenicia Elementary School, are impacted.

Ricciardella said he could not offer an estimate of when the boil water advisory would be lifted, but he said a water test would be performed tomorrow.

He added the cold is the worst he’s seen in 50 years.

“The temperatures haven’t been above 30 degrees,” he said. “We’re losing water, and we’re not getting enough water because the springs are freezing up.”

He said the cold causes conditions worse than a summer drought.

“It’s the worst it’s been since 1976, when it froze five or six feet down and the mains froze,” he said.

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