NEWBURGH, New York (WABC) --The City of Newburgh has rescinded a State of Emergency that was declared due to the discovery of a contaminant in the water.
The action had been taken after the discovery of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) in Silver Stream and Washington Lake.
It can pose a potential threat to public health and safety. PFOS has been identified by EPA as an emerging contaminant of concern.
At a Tuesday news conference, the mayor stressed that the city's water was safe to drink.
Although the detected levels of PFOS, as sampled and analyzed by the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC), are below the levels recommended in the provisional health advisory published by EPA in 2009, the NYSDEC and Department of Health (DOH) are recommending that steps be taken to reduce or eliminate the compound from the water system.
It is expected that EPA will soon be reducing the recommended maximum levels of PFOS in drinking water to levels below those found in our water system.
While the Water Department implemented emergency measures to reduce and/or eliminate the compound and DEC tracks and shuts down the source, the Water Superintendent ordered that use of water from Lake Washington as the source of drinking water be discontinued until further notice.
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In the interim, the City of Newburgh's water supply will be drawn from Brown's Pond and the Catskills Aqueduct until further notice.
Water conservation measures were put in place on an emergency basis.
The water superintendent published restrictions on water use as follows:
- The serving of water at a food service establishment, except at the specific request of a patron.
- The use of water for washing of paved surfaces, including but not limited to streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking areas, tennis courts and patios.
- The use of water for nonagricultural irrigation and watering of lawns, flower gardens, landscaped areas, trees, shrubs or other outdoor plants.
- The use of water for ornamental purposes, including but not limited to fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools.
- The use of water for noncommercial washing or cleaning of automobiles, trucks, trailers or any other vehicle.
- The use of water from a fire hydrant, except for fire-fighting or public health protection.
- The use of water for flushing of sewers or hydrants, except as deemed necessary for public health and safety.
- The use of water for watering or sprinkling any portion of a golf course, except for greens.
- The use of water or steam for the cleaning of buildings or any other structures' exteriors.
- The use of water for the operation of ice-skating rinks.
- The use of water for the commercial washing or cleaning of automobiles, trucks, trailers or any other vehicle by facilities which do not recycle water.
- The use of water for the filling or the operation of a swimming pool, partly artificial swimming pool, bathing beach or any swimming facility under permit pursuant to Part 6 of the New York State Sanitary Code, which is not open to the general public.
- The use of water in a residence in excess of 50 gallons per resident per day.
- The use of water in a commercial or industrial facility in excess of 75% of said user's average daily consumption for the immediately preceding 12 months.
- When the immediately preceding 12 months' daily average consumption for said water is not available, the average daily water consumption of said user for the 90 days immediately preceding the declaration of Stage II emergency shall be used.
- The use of water for residential agricultural purposes and golf course greens.
- The use of water for the filling or operation of a swimming pool, partly artificial swimming pool, bathing beach or any swimming facility under permit pursuant to Part 6 of the New York State Sanitary Code.
- This prohibition shall include but not be limited to the use of water for the filling or the operation of any swimming facility under the control of any governmental subdivision.