LOWVILLE — The state Department of Environmental Conservation approved the village’s request to increase the limit of water that can be taken from the aquifer in a day.
According to village Superintendent Paul A. Denise, the final water permit with the approved change to a limit of about 2.1 million gallons daily was received last week.
“The watershed, the springs, feed the creeks over there so they want to make sure for fish there’s plenty of water running down those creeks,” Mayor Joseph G. Beagle said. “They don’t want us taking too much so the creeks will dry up.”
Mr. Beagle said that although the largest manufacturer in the county, Kraft Heinz, has taken positive steps to eliminate water waste at the plant, the increased limit will allow the village to accommodate any future increases that Kraft and other businesses may have without burdening local residents with “water watch” usage limits as happened on multiple occasions last summer.
“We’ve never really been short water,” Mr. Beagle said. “The DEC only allowed us to take 1.6 million gallons a day so that’s all we could filter without having problems with the DEC and then the village getting fined. Now we have it over 2 million so if we have a day we know Kraft is going to be ramping up we can ramp up our equipment at the watershed and filter more. I’m hoping we’re not going to see any watches or warnings for this coming summer.”
The village is creating groundwater wells that will make filtration unnecessary. Currently, the village filters using sand beds and a portable Pall unit.
The new limit went into effect immediately.