New York State Announces Water From Village of Hoosick Falls Municipal Water System Is Safe to Drink

State Department of Health lifts advisory after repeated testing of the village's water system shows non detection of PFOA

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 30, 2016) - The New York State Department of Health today announced that repeated testing of the village of Hoosick Falls' municipal water system shows non detection of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and is now safe for all uses including drinking and cooking. In a letter to Mayor David Borge, Dr. Howard Zucker today informed the Village that the temporary filtration system effectively removes PFOA from the village drinking water and the "no-drink" advisory has been lifted.

There are two components to the municipal water system that DOH has been testing in recent weeks:

1. Component 1: Granular activated carbon filters

  • The village's temporary municipal filtration system consists of two granular activated carbon filters. Water passes through both filters before entering the village distribution system. Water is sampled after it runs through the first filter, and again after it passes through the second filter. Samples taken after strictly passing through just the first filter show non-detectable levels of PFOA.
  • This non-detect PFOA status has been in place since Sunday, March 13, 2016.

2. Component 2: Village distribution system

  • The village distribution system is split into six zones that together have more than 82 miles of piping that run to more than 1,400 customers. Since the installation of the carbon filtration system, DOH has been working with residents and the Village to flush the entire distribution system to remove PFOA and has continuously taken water samples from each zone to measure progress.
  • Testing shows that every zone on the village distribution system has non-detectable levels of PFOA.

The state is working with the village of Hoosick Falls to notify residents. Residents with questions or concerns can call the Hoosick Falls water hotline at 1-800-801-8092 to speak with a DOH representative.

To view the letter from Dr. Zucker officially lifting the state's health advisory, please click here.

Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, said: "Staff from DOH and the village have been working tirelessly in Hoosick Falls to install the filtration system and flush the entire distribution system. DOH has tested and re-tested water throughout the village, answered more than 1,000 calls on our PFOA hotline, and provided the latest news and updates to residents through our informational sessions.Today's news demonstrates the tremendous progress we have made, and I commend Governor Cuomo for the commitment he has made to the residents, and for all the actions he has taken to resolve the contamination issue."

Basil Seggos, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, said, "Today marks a significant milestone in the state's efforts to address the water contamination in the Hoosick Falls area. DEC continues to install and sample water filtration systems on private wells and expects to provide clearance to homeowners to use the first systems for drinking and cooking this week."

Additionally, Dr. Zucker thanked local officials for their partnership in the testing process, including David Borge, Mayor of Hoosick Falls; Mark Surdam, Town of Hoosick Supervisor; Jim Hurlburt, Water Superintendent; Josh Magisano from theHoosick Falls Water Department; and Aelish Nealon, Executive Director of the HAYC3 Armory. Dr. Zucker also thanked all of the Hoosick Falls residents who allowed DOH to test water in their homes.

The state has implemented an aggressive plan to address PFOA contamination in the Hoosick Falls area, which includes:

  • Overseeing the installation of a temporary municipal filtration system;
  • Committing up to $10 million to install hundreds of private residential water filtration systems;
  • Testing nearly 750 water samples from private and public wells since January 27, 2016;
  • Conducting a comprehensive blood testing program for residents;
  • Working to identify an alternate permanent drinking water source; and
  • Establishing a local command center with nearly 100 full-time state officials.

The state has also identified Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International as parties responsible for the PFOA contamination in the village of Hoosick Falls and the town of Hoosick, and is holding the firms accountable for the costs of providing safe drinking water to residents and remediating the contamination.