COPENHAGEN — During an emergency meeting Tuesday morning, the village Board of Trustees declared a state of emergency due to a water shortage.
The village and a portion of Denmark that draws water from the Copenhagen Water Distribution System is covered by this state of emergency, which expires Oct. 21.
The village has been under a water conservation notice since Sept. 10, and those restrictions of not watering lawns or gardens, washing cars or topping off pools remain in affect. In addition, the state of emergency allows the village to take measures and seek funding to remedy the situation.
During the emergency meeting, the board explored a number of possible stop gap measures to ensure there would be enough water for the service area.
For the time being, the board will purchase water from the village of Carthage as it did in 2016. At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Carthage board approved the sale, and by Tuesday afternoon, Copenhagen had the contract in hand. The 30-day agreement specifics Carthage will provide water at a rate of $4.90 per 100 cubic feet of water, plus labor and equipment costs incurred.
“This is a big scare, but not a panic,” village superintendent Doran Johnson said. “There is still 21 feet of water in the tower and the pump is still pumping.”
The wells are keeping the tower full, according to Matthew Cooper of Barton & Loguidice, Watertown.
The village is under a consent order from the state Department of Health to secure a back-up water source. The order had a deadline of Dec. 31, 2019.
According to Mr. Cooper, an engineering report has been submitted to the DOH and funding sources have been explored to rehabilitate the decommissioned wells off Woodbattle Road, which have been offline since 2011 when the Stoddard Road plant was put into use.
In 2010, Copenhagen completed a $3 million project that developed three wells off Stoddard Road in the town of Denmark and upgraded water lines. The superintendent said one of the Stoddard Road wells was not productive.
On Tuesday morning, the board also approved contracting with P&T Supply and Services Inc., of Watertown, to clean, sample and pump test the two wells off Woodbattle Road for an amount not to exceed $20,000. Mr. Cooper said the work could commence Friday.
“It will be a great opportunity to push the Woodbattle wells with the pump test,” he said.
Trustee Kimberly Vogt suggested working with Lewis County Emergency Management to see if a sanitation trailer could be utilizes until the water plant is fully operational.
“That’s what Lowville did,” she noted.
Mayor Kenneth Clarke said he would investigate that possibility. Meanwhile, village officials are hoping for rain.
“We are dryer now than were then (in 2016),” Trustee Vogt said.
Trustee Gerald Snyder noted seven to eight inches of rain would be needed to penetrate the soil and refresh the wells.