Monday, July 19, 2021

Pollution is a rural problem, too

wellWater pollution is a big concern for us here in the Adirondack Park, and we’re not just talking about the kind that wafts in from out-of-state smokestacks and deposits acid in our lakes.


Locally, how we manage our drinking water and our sewage is a big deal, and one that’s going to need a lot of attention in coming years. One problem for rural towns like ours, though, is that there are few full-time residents to foot the bill for the state-of-the-art water treatment required to serve the volume of visitors these mountains and lakes attract. Even when there’s a great deal of money available for grants, as Ry Rivard reported in our latest magazine issue, the towns can struggle to come up with the matching funds necessary to unlock that funding. (Pottersville’s water system, part of which is pictured above, has 80 customers who must come up with $360,000 to qualify for a grant that would cover most of a needed new water main.)

We’ll continue following this issue at the Explorer, as well as the question of how to ensure that septic tanks around the park are functioning appropriately and doing their jobs to protect places like Lake George. Just last week, the Lake George Park Commission assembled its first committee meeting to study that topic, and we’ll report more on it in the near future.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in the Explorer’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

Photo by Cindy Schultz for Adirondack Explorer

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Brandon Loomis

Brandon Loomis is editor of Adirondack Explorer.




3 Responses

  1. nathan says:

    state of the art drinking water treatment??? what is wrong with well water??? article is extremely skimpy of facts or reasons as to why treated drinking water is needed at all…too much salt, leeched chemicals, radon, arsenic contamination, sulfer compounds?? going to write an article at least give supporting facts as to why

    • Well water is fine if you are sitting on your acre(s) of land with a good aquifer. However, if you are on a small lot with road runoff or surrounded by homes with questionable septic systems a well might not be the best option.

  2. Joan Grabe says:

    Many wells, close to state roads, have salt levels that are way too high for health. Lakes are not good sources for drinking water ( even tho grandpa said they were)and my well has a high iron content which ruins my hair. At least the towns should have municipal water systems and waste water treatment plants. This is 2021after all.

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