While Westchester officials say a recent study proves they can take more water from a valve on the Delaware Aqueduct to bring UV treated water to all of county Water District 1 without hurting other water users, the plan is still considered to be problematic by another major water system and is under review by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
The county needs to provide the treated water to the north end of District 1 to comply with a federal rule requiring ultraviolet treatment to kill cryptosporidium in drinking water from reservoirs. Unlike the north end of the district—White Plains and Scarsdale—the south end, which includes Mount Vernon and Yonkers, is already getting treated water. The EPA sued the county after it missed the deadline and the case is still pending.
Alongside the county, Westchester Joint Water Works takes half of its water from the valve at Shaft 22 on the aqueduct and has had concerns about water pressure if the county takes more water. But more than that, the Water Works has its own UV water treatment problems and asked years ago to take more water from Shaft 22, said its manager, Anthony Conetta. But the DEP, which runs the city’s vast water system, told the Water Works that there wasn’t enough water, Conetta said.
“We were first on line,” Conetta said. “And if there is any water available, we want to get it first.”
For Water District 1 to use more water from Shaft 22, it would need permission from the DEP, said Adam Bosch, a spokesman. The DEP is now reviewing the county’s study, which county officials said shows that their plan will not affect water pressure.
But, according to Bosch of DEP, “It’s pretty much pulling the capacity now that it can pull.”
Still, DEP engineers will review the county’s analysis over the next couple of months, he said.
“We want to make sure that we’re not putting the system up to anything it can’t handle,” Bosch said.
United Water New Rochelle also takes water from Shaft 22.
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