Tuesday, July 06, 2004

 

HADLEY - Residents and business owners are upset with the state because their water is turning clothes brown.

Hadley upset by brown water
Thursday, July 01, 2004
By DIANE LEDERMAN
dlederman@repub.com


HADLEY - Residents and business owners are upset with the state because their water is turning clothes brown.

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Hadley upset by brown water
Thursday, July 01, 2004
By DIANE LEDERMAN
dlederman@repub.com


HADLEY - Residents and business owners are upset with the state because their water is turning clothes brown.

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The state recently started having communities test for perchlorate to help the state set safety levels for the chemical. One of the town's wells had 3.2 parts per billion of the chemical, forcing the well to be shut down.


The town then had to switch to another source of water from the Callahan Wells, but those wells have iron and manganese, which turns laundry brown. The town is attempting to treat for those minerals but they can only be sequestered, not removed, said Robert Mellstrom of Dufresne-Henry, the town's water consultant. To successfully remove them would require a treatment facility, he said, something that would likely cost several million dollars.


Some in town are blaming the state Department of Environmental Protection for having the well shut down when they don't even know if the level of perchlorate is harmful.


Perchlorate "is an inorganic chemical widely used as an oxidizer in solid propellants for rockets, missiles and fireworks," according to information from the DEP Web site.


No one knows how the chemical seeped into the water.


"The DEP is regulating ahead of science," Selectmen Chairman John P. Connor said at a meeting last night that addressed town water issues.


"They're seriously affecting all our lives," said Timothy L. Neyhart, the town's building inspector. "It's affecting all our clothes. I don't think this is right that DEP can come in here and create havoc on our lives, especially since they can't tell us that 1 part per billion is a health risk."


Curt Shumway, who owns several hotels in town, is upset by what has happened and asked, "How long has Hadley been living with it?"


The DEP told him to have his sheets laundered outside of town and to bring in water for the hotel swimming pools, said Sean Welch, the general manager for the Holiday Inn Express, one of Shumway's hotels.


Mary Jane Bacon from state Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg's office told the board that Rosenberg and John Scibak, D-South Hadley, who was also at the meeting last night, said DEP officials would meet with the town to talk about the problems. A tentative date of July 9 was set.



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