The Poughkeepsies' Joint Water Board today voted unanimously to move forward with an upgrade, now estimated to cost $18 million, that will reduce levels of a chemical group found at high levels in at least two local water districts and threatening others
The board, which oversees the Poughkeepsies' Water Treatment Facility, selected a system that uses ozone and biologically activated carbon to reduce the organic material that serves as a precursor for potentially dangerous disinfection byproducts.

The process will ensure that each distribution system that receives treated drinking water from the plant remains in compliance with stiffer testing procedures mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Those new procedures will roll out this fall.

The upgrade must still be approved by the Poughkeesie town board and the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council. The city and town co-own the water treatment facility.

Water drawn from the Hudson River is treated at the plant and then sent to water systems in the Town and City of Poughkeepsie, the Town of Hyde Park and the Town of East Fishkill.

One of these byproducts, trihalomethanes, has been found at high levels in the Greenbush water district in the Town of Hyde Park and the Hopewell Glen district in the Town of East Fishkill.

The joint water board also approved a $16,000 study that will examine how well the upgrade would remove microscopic amounts of urea from the water, which are impacting the manufacturing processes at IBM's East Fishkill plant.

IBM receives about 1.3 million gallons a day of water from the plant via a Dutchess County-owned pipeline that runs underneath the Dutchess County Rail Trail.

The board also voted to enter into negotiatons to renew its contract with Dutchess County, which purchases water from the city and town and then re-sells it to IBM.
 



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