A free bottled water program is ending at a supermarket in Hoosick Falls.
The bottled water became an invaluable resource to people in the village as they have dealt with the PFOA water contamination crisis.
It had become the norm for many in Hoosick Falls to get their free bottled water from Tops, but the program came to an end on Friday.
Charlie Russell has drank bottled water for two years after learning the municipal water and some private wells were contaminated with the chemical PFOA. A filter at the water plant has shown non-detect levels of the chemical for a while, but Russell will still only drink bottled water.
“You can’t drink it,” he said. “No, not me.”
Now, he’ll have to pay for his own bottled water.
“Well, I’m on a fixed income,” he said.
Donna Niles lives in the Town of Hoosick.
“No, we drink bottled water,” she said.
Niles said she’ll purchase her own bottled water but worries for others.
“No, I really think they should still be doing it because there are so many residents here and so many younger children that I think that the bottled water should be continued,” she said.
Loreen Hackett with PFOA Project New York has been fighting for clean water. She once refused to drink it, but she said she’s confident in the carbon filtration system. Results from July show PFOA is still non-detectable in the municipal drinking water.
“I have even been drinking the water and that should say something because I’ve been a huge skeptic, so I’m not concerned with the C-8,” she said. “I know the filters are doing their job.”
But for some, a feeling of deep mistrust remains.
“How much of that can you believe when they didn’t want to believe that it was contaminated to begin with, and it took a long time for them to actually acknowledge it,” Niles said.
Hoosick Falls Mayor Robert Allen issued the following statement:
Even though the science tells us that the water is potable, it is sometimes hard to forget that our water comes from a deeply contaminated aquifer. I think we are all very interested in seeing the final results of the Alternative Water Supply report, especially since our neighboring community across the state line is on their way to their permanent remedy.