'The water is disgusting': South Blooming Grove residents raise drinking water concerns
A concerning water problem in South Blooming Grove has a growing number of residents coming forward about the conditions in their homes.
Mayor George Kalaj says the village's water comes from nine shallow wells that have become problematic over the years, and that a million-dollar filtration system - in the works since 2019 - is almost ready to go online.
Kalaj says despite its unsightly appearance, the Orange County Health Department has deemed the water safe to drink.
Residents say the water has been a problem for decades.
"The water is disgusting. There's no way people can live with water like that. It's like a third-world country," says Christine Burke, of South Blooming Grove. "I can name, knowing throughout the years, numerous families that have had some sort or type of cancer one way or another -- myself included."
So far, Sen. James Skoufis, who referred to the village's water as "disgusting," and Assemblyman Colin Schmitt have secured $660,000 in state aid to pay for more than half the cost of the new filters.
Village officials say they need state and federal funds to find new wells or – better yet, tap into the Ashoken Reservoir.
Residents say they are waiting for relief and say the only thing clear right now is that more needs to be done.
Orange County health officials say they are working with South Blooming Grove to help mitigate iron and magnesium levels in the water and that at this time, it’s considered safe to drink.