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Canton restarts water search

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CANTON — The village is restarting its search for additional water.

“In order to grow as a community, we need to increase our water supply,” Trustee Mary Ann Ashley said. “I really feel this is a priority.”

The village’s main water supply comes from Waterman Hill. The amount produced is adequate for current needs but travels through six miles of older pipes before reaching the village, and it does not offer much of a surplus, especially during lengthy dry periods, such as last summer.

“It wasn’t to a critical point. We had a surplus of 10 to 15 percent, but I’m not comfortable with that,” village Superintendent Brien E. Hallahan said. “The Department of Health has really put us on notice and is pressuring us to have a supplemental source. It’s not something we want. It’s something we need.”

Village Board of Trustees members have agreed tentatively to put $155,000 in the upcoming budget to drill up to five test wells.

Hydrologist Hanson Van Vleet, Clifton Park, has identified about a dozen locations where the likelihood of finding water is high. Among the top spots are two locations on property owned by SUNY Canton, one at the southern end of St. Lawrence University property and one near United Helpers Maplewood campus.

Finding more water would fit into college expansion plans, especially at SUNY Canton, where the village already has a water tower.

“I believe we have their support and cooperation,” Mr. Hallahan said.

Having alternative sources also would allow the village to decommission its filtration plant, which can treat water from the Grasse River. The plant has been closed for years but cannot be eliminated in case it is needed in an emergency.

Some years back, the village identified additional water at the uplands source.

“Probably more could be captured there, but the price per gallon was going to be prohibitive,” Mr. Hallahan said.

The village also tried twice to acquire a well at the former Kraft plan capable of producing about 100,000 gallons of water daily, but the company backed away from a deal.

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