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Up and running

Ever wonder where your water's been?

For village residents of Jordan and Elbridge, lately it's been getting high-tech ultraviolet light treatment at the newly constructed LT2 plant in Elbridge.

All municipalities that receive drinking water from Skaneateles Lake - which also includes the city of Syracuse and the village and town of Skaneateles - are required by Federal law to install treatment plants by March 2012. The Elbridge facility, located on Kingston Road, is the first of its kind in Onondaga County.

"We decided to bite the bullet and get it done right away, so we're ahead of the game," said Fred Weisskopf, acting mayor of Elbridge. "We're the guinea pigs."

The plans for the facility began with the Environmental Protection Agency's Long Term 2 Surface Water Treatment ruling (LT2), which requires uncovered water sources providing for a high enough number of people to be treated with ultra-violet light.

The mandate stems from the paramecium Cryptosporidiosis, which sickened thousands of people in Rochester in 2005. The microorganism has yet to be traced to Jordan-Elbridge.

Water systems were evaluated based on size of population serviced. Elbridge was required to treat its water because it shares a water line with the city of Syracuse.

"If we had our own [water supply] - because we have such a small population - we would not have to do this," said Tom King, head of public works for the village of Elbridge. "But since we [were evaluated as] part of that population, we have to treat it."

With the plant finally up and running after 16 months of planning and construction, Weisskopf reflected on the main obstacles presented by the project - "Finding the money to pay for it," he said.

The project, estimated at around $1 million, took unprecedented coordination between the villages and town, who together obtained a New York State Department of State grant totaling $600,000. Both villages and the town each received $90,000 toward the project in Onondaga County Community Development grant money.

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