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Lily Dale Assembly on day 60 without clean water

Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 14, 2020

LILY DALE ASSEMBLY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The small spiritual community of Lily Dale has had a big problem, for the last 60 days they have been on a boil water advisory.

"We can't do anything with the water, we can't drink it, we can't brush our teeth with it, we can't wash our dishes with it." Nancy Lombardo, a homeowner in Lily Dale said, "You go through a ton of water during that time and it's a big inconvenience."

According to Chautauqua County, the reason for the boil water advisory was due to a large amount of chloroform in the water. This was caused by the state of the pipes in the 100 year-old town.

"In my 20 years of experience I've never seen a water system this contaminated," Paul Snyder, Professional Engineer for the Chautauqua County Department of Health said.

The system was supposed to be updated last spring in a $6,000,000 water replacement project, but that was stalled due to COVID-19. To at least bring drinkable water back, a temporary solution is in the works. That temporary solution will see the implementation of chlorine into the water to help clean it. Once it eradicates the chloroform, the chlorine levels will be brought down so it is safe to drink. That means the water will have a smell and taste of chlorine even after it is deemed safe to drink.

For those living in Lily Dale, they just want their water back. It is a town dependent on tourism that has already seen restrictions due to COVID-19.

"Life itself is hard already with COVID-19, and then to put a water boil advisory in this it's made things really difficult for us now for 60 days," Lombardo said.

The Maintenance Supervisor of Lily Dale told 7 Eyewitness News that the temporary solution should start September 15th, so there's a potential for clean water by the end of the week. A permanent solution is not expected until 2021.