Senecas to supply clean water to Lawtons in North Collins

Posted at 2:56 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 19:34:25-04

The Seneca Nation of Indians has formally entered into an agreement with North Collins to provide fresh, clean drinking water for 37 families in the Hamlet of Lawtons.  Residents in Lawtons have been advised not to drink their water, which comes from a spring-fed well, because of high levels of nitrates.  It is a situation that has existed for the past couple years because of run-off from area farms.

Hear from a mother of three young boys about how challenging it is keeping her kids from drinking the tap water.

Engineers for the Senecas and North Collins say it will take until the end of 2018 to complete the plumbing necessary to allow Lawtons to tap into the Nation's fresh water supply. 

This was considered the best and most cost effective solution for Lawtons because only approximately 1,000 feet of pipe is needed - as opposed to millions of dollars to build a new filtration system or connect to the Village of North Collins water supply.

In the meantime, families in Lawton's will have to continue using bottled water for cooking, drinking and brushing teeth until the connection is completed.

The Seneca Nation, through its present system of water mains, plans to provide up to 20,000 gallons per day of potable water.

Lawtons was one of three locations in Erie County that was recently cited by a Natural Resources Defense Council report that detailed health threats in tap water nationwide.

The Lawtons Water District will purchase the water from the Seneca Nation at a rate not to exceed the existing rate set by the Erie County Water Authority for general metered purposes, or other such rates as may be applicable to the Nations' water supply.