INTERLAKEN — Wanted: Several days of a soaking, steady rain.
The water conservation ordered issued Wednesday for users of the village water supply will continue indefinitely, according to village Water Commissioner Tony Del Plato.
Del Plato, also a member of the Village Board, said the village draws its municipal water from a well near Cayuga Lake, below Lively Run Creek.
“Despite some rains that have come down on our region, it has not been enough to replenish the aquifer that feeds the village well,” he said. “The new village water tank holds 325,000 gallons, and the older tank holds about 250,000 gallons. I think, to some degree, the larger tank obviously can hold more water, thus is pumping more water from the well.”
The well goes down about 25 feet; Del Plato said it draws water from a gravel basin. Below that is bedrock.
“We will be seeking advice from hydrogeologists about whether drilling deeper would solve the problem,” Del Plato said. “We have preferred the well site because the water is cleaner, requiring less chlorine treatment, a requirement of the Department of Health. The gravel and soil serves as a natural filter.”
He said the village is investigating several options, all of which require state Health Department approval. One is pumping lake water to the well as a way to keep it full. Phase II of the village water project is developing another direct source of water from Cayuga Lake, Del Plato said, adding that would require a filtration system and access to property on the lake. The village is working with Charles Franzese of Hunt Engineers on this option.
Currently, Del Plato said the village is shipping water from the nearby village of Ovid water system by tanker truck.
“We need a steady, saturating rainfall over several days to refill the aquifer,” Del Plato said. “We’re asking everyone to conserve water for now.”