Water contamination concerns at condo complex in Lewisboro

Marcus Solis Image
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Water contamination concerns at condo complex in Lewisboro
Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis was in South Salem where tensions are boiling over.

LEWISBORO, New York (WABC) -- There is confusion over water contamination in one Westchester County town.

"It used to look funny and it used to smell funny, but then it was okay, but then it would smell funny again and it would look funny again," said Joe DiGrazia, a resident.

At the Oakridge condo complex in the town Lewisboro not drinking the water isn't exactly new.

For many the smell, the taste, the color means opting for bottled water, but a letter sent Thursday to residents set off alarm bells suggesting drinking or showering with the water could affect the liver or nervous system, even potentially cause cancer.

Evanka Wolff warned her kids this morning.

"We don't drink the water so that's good, but our showers have to be shorter, do not swallow the water when you brush your teeth," Wolff said.

The complex with over 200 units gets its water from wells.

The water is then treated, and pumped to homes.

In August, excessive levels of trihalomethanes were detected. It's the byproduct of naturally occurring materials like leaves, or plants mixing with chlorine.

The Health Department notice advises limiting exposure by using bottled water for drinking and cooking.

And because the contaminant can be airborne, residents should increase ventilation during bathing or showering as well as shortening the length of baths and showers.

But the Lewisboro town supervisor says the wording of the county's public notice is way too strong.

"This is written by people who are going to take the most conservative possible attitude because they don't want to get sued," said Peter Parsons, Lewisboro Town Supervisor.

Parsons says the water registered at acceptable levels until the threshold was recently changed and that the town has hired a consultant to find the cause of the problem.

If this were a true emergency he says his reaction would be much different.

"We would have had people going door to door in Oakridge the next morning saying do not drink the water," Parsons said.