Westchester is moving toward a solution to the water treatment problem that led to a federal lawsuit carrying millions in possible fines.
The Westchester Board of Legislators approved legislation Monday to borrow $765,000 to design an ultraviolet treatment system for county Water District 1, which serves Scarsdale, White Plains, Yonkers and Mount Vernon. The water supplying the northern part of the district is not treated with ultraviolet light to kill cryptosporidium, which violates clean water act requirements that went into place in April 2012. The Environmental Protection Agency sued last year.
The county has been working on various solutions to the problem but has settled on a $10 million plan to take some water from a New York City aqueduct below the city’s ultraviolet treatment plant at Eastview and to build two small UV plants at other points in the system. If the plan is accepted by the EPA, the county could avoid building a much larger project that would have cost as much as $100 million but covered a larger area of the county.
Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, D-Hastings, said the EPA has indicated that the plan might work but agency officials would like to see more details. The design work is intended to provide that.
“This way we can have something more specific to show the Justice Department and the EPA,” Shimsky said.