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Cortlandt Daily Voice serves Buchanan, Cortlandt & Croton

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Another Summer with Brown Water for Some in Croton

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — Village residents with brown water will likely suffer another summer with rust-colored liquid pouring from their taps. Croton village officials put the start date for water main replacement projects at the fall of 2012 for Wolf Road and Cook Lane, and fall of 2013 for the Harmon area.

For about a year, Abbie Osoba-Voss’ tap has belched out rust-colored water, staining her new granite countertops, tubs and sinks. The village’s aging infrastructure is largely to blame, with water mains in some parts of the village at nearly 100 years old. When water sits in dead-end lines — for example, near Truesdale Avenue, Morningside Drive, Wolf Road and Cook Lane — it picks up the color of the corroded pipes: brown.

Until the mains are replaced, brown water problems could worsen for residents as temperatures climb.

“The brown water is worse in the summer when water temperatures are higher,” said Village Engineer Dan O’Connor. “The higher the water temperature, the higher the corrosion rate.”

Croton is renowned among residents for clear, pure water. Villagers have been known to only carry Croton water with them, to give it to visitors from afar, and certainly to drink from the tap. Parts of the village water system on dead-ends, however, have not had this experience.

 “We started noticing it right before we moved out, because we had to move out to renovate it,” said Osoba-Voss. “And when we moved back, we thought, ‘Oh, we’ll just get the small house filter.’ Then I ran a bath for my daughter and the water in the tub was not clear.”

A computer model of the entire village water system is being created, and two design contracts were awarded in February. The water main replacements fall into two projects: Wolf Road and Cook Lane are included in one project, while the Harmon area, including Truesdale and Morningside Drive, are broken into another.

O’Connor estimates the Wolf Road and Cook Lane projects will have a shovel in the ground by fall 2012, costing less than an estimated $1 million. The Truesdale and Morningside Drive projects likely won’t see work begin until fall of 2013, at a preliminary estimate of about $3 million. The design contracts for these areas were $22,000 and $65,430, respectively, and were awarded to Chazen Companies and WSP Sells.

The quantity and depth of bedrock below the Harmon area water main, and the likelihood that the village will experience a lengthy New York State Department of Transportation review process, will delay the start of that project. O’Connor stressed that the $3 million estimate was preliminary, and said the bedrock could also affect the price of the repair.

Many residents in these areas have turned to expensive full-house water filtration systems, including one $1,200 model from Culligan.

The right to potable water is “God-given,” said Osoba-Voss. “It’s one of the rights you have as a human being.”

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