County Water Quality Discussed by State and Local Leaders

BREWSTER, NY— Water quality issues have become more commonplace in New York State, and particularly in Putnam County. The aging water infrastructure is a serious concern, heightened by recently increasing environmental contaminations, such as those from deicing salts and harmful summer algal blooms in local lakes. On Monday, representatives from the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) were in New York City to present testimony and gain additional support for the implementation of the New York State 2017 Clean Water Infrastructure Act.

“Counties across the state strongly support the $2.5 billion investment in water infrastructure included in the new Clean Water Infrastructure Act,” says Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who was recently elected as president of NYSAC. “However we have a number of concerns with the Act’s implementation.” She then outlined ways to improve implementation by more effectively involving local health departments in determining the geographic areas for the septic system replacement fund and by shoring up support for small water treatment systems.

“We have a strong voice in Albany with our County Executive in a leadership position as NYSAC president,” said Interim Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat, MD, who was in Albany reviewing these issues at the monthly meeting of the New York State Association County Health Officials (NYSACHO). “Blue-green algae is a particular concern to our Putnam residents and we want to make sure the appropriate funding is in place to address these issues.”

The Putnam County Department of Health will be holding an informational seminar open to the public on blue-green algae on Tuesday, January 23, at the County’s Bureau of Emergency Services building. Further information about the event will be available on the county’s website.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.