Household water samples supplied from Seneca Lake and wells

Water samples collected from homes in the two proposed municipal water supply districts in the Town of Torrey have come back from the lab showing bacteriological contamination. 

The report from testing conducted for the town from samples collected by the Town of Benton, was presented at the last Torrey Town Board meeting, Dec. 12. Approximately 80 percent of the samples were from lake supply and 20 percent from wells.

In the 12 samples from Water District #1 along Seneca Lake in the northeast portion of the town, seven tested positive for total coliform, one tested for total coliform and E-coli, and five tested negative.

In the 20 samples from Water District #2 in the Perry Point neighborhood south of Dresden, 15 were positive for total coliform, nine were positive for both total coliform and E. coli, and five tested negative.

According to Water District Committee chairman George Thompson, coliforms are bacteria that are always present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. They are also found in plant and soil material. A Total Coliform Test is the most basic test for bacterial contamination of a water supply. Total coliform counts give a general indication of the sanitary condition of a water supply. Escherichia coli (E. Coli) is considered to be the species of coliform bacteria that is the best indicator of fecal pollution and the possible presence of pathogens.

District #1, where water will be supplied from the Town of Geneva’s well at Kashong and purchased through the Town of Benton, is pending approval from the State Comptroller’s Office. 

Negotiations between the villages of Dresden and Penn Yan over transmission and supply authority are holding up progress in District #2. Officials from both say they are approaching the final stages of approval.