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May 9, 2013

OCCA want to know: 'Whats In Our Water'

The Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking potential drinking water well test sites and existing water well test data for inclusion as it launches a countywide groundwater program, “What’s In Our Water?”

The program, announced in the fall, aims to create a “baseline” of well water chemistry that can provide a point of reference in the event that heavy industrial activity such as natural gas drilling puts groundwater at risk. According to a media release from OCCA, the program has received the necessary funding to begin conducting tests. 

OCCA invites property owners throughout the county to submit their wells for testing consideration. Wells will be chosen for testing based on existing data, identified data gaps, and location, among other factors.

Water sampling and analysis will be conducted by professionals certified through the state Department of Health.

“Gas drilling was a wakeup call,” OCCA President Vicky M. Lentz said in the release. “The possible impacts of hydrofracking are not well studied. Understanding the characteristics of our drinking water, and fingerprinting well water and the aquifers from which it flows, is important. We know we have an abundant supply of good, clean water here, but we need to learn more.” 

“OCCA also asks Otsego County property owners who have had wells tested within the last two years to share this data with us so that their results can be made part of the growing countywide groundwater data pool,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs.

For more information on “What’s In Our Water?”, or to submit a well for consideration, call OCCA at 547-4488 or email admin@occainfo.org. Copies of test results can be mailed to OCCA, P.O. Box 931, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

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