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Canton village continues search for water supply; test wells lack sufficient amount

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CANTON - The village’s search for a new water source has so far come up dry.

Five test wells have been drilled at different sites, but none have produced an adequate supply of water, Village Superintendent Brien E. Hallahan said.

“We haven’t had any luck so far,” he said. “We’re working through the list of possible other sites and reassessing the situation.”

Mr. Hallahan said about 15 to 20 more sites can be explored and that list is being evaluated by a hydrologist from Hanson Van Vleet LLC, a hydrology firm from Clifton Park. An engineer from Tisdell Associates, Canton, is also reviewing sites.

“You might have to drill 10 to 12 test wells before you hit gold. You have to be patient,” he said.

Trustees allocated $155,000 in its 2013-14 budget to dig test wells and those funds have not yet been depleted, Mr. Hallahan said.

The village is looking to find one or more wells that can produce a cumulative total of 150 to 200 gallons of water per minute. The process involves getting permission from property owners to dig a test well and determining the accessibility of the site.

In a report to village trustees, Mr. Hallahan said the first test well was dug at property owned by St. Lawrence University, but it yielded no water. A second well dug at Sheesley’s property, Judson Street, only produced about 30 gallons per minute. A third site at United Helpers property produced an estimated 40 gallons per minute.

A fourth well on St. Lawrence County property near the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility yielded roughly 30 gallons per minute and fifth site south of the jail did not produce an adequate amount, Mr. Hallahan said.

However, he said an existing well off Route 11 south of the village produced 80 gallons of water per minute. The property is owned by the Gibson family.

Deputy Mayor Michael E. Dalton said the existing Gibson well may work if it can be combined with one or more other well sources.

“That has some very real potential. It may take a combination of a couple wells,” he said.

Mr. Dalton said the state Department of Health has recommended, but not mandated the village have a second source of water. For more than a decade the village has relied on groundwater from Waterman Hill, an upland water source about six miles from the village.

The pipes from the Waterman Hill source are about 100 years old and it makes sense to have an alternate source, Mr. Dalton said.

“That’s our sole source of water. We’re looking to protect ourselves if something happens to the pipeline as it comes down the hill,” he said.

The dry summer of 2012 prompted village officials start searching for an additional water source.

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