Village of Floyd awaits stimulus funds for water plant

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

The Village of Floyd is waiting for promised federal stimulus money to find a contractor and start its water treatment plant.

The plant is designed to remove fluoride and arsenic from the water.

“We’re ready to go for bid as soon as the (stimulus) funds are secured,” said Village Clerk Toni Whitecotton.

The village is set to receive $250,000 in federal stimulus money, on top of $49,000 in Legislative appropriations, a $460,000 Community Development Block Grant and $25,000 of matching village funds it already has, Whitecotton said.

Tappan Mahoney of Dennis Engineering Co., an engineer on the project, said the water treatment plant is a prefabricated reverse osmosis system housed in a 26-by-20-foot building. Whitecotton said the plant will be built on the east side of the Floyd water tower.

Once construction begins, Mahoney expects work to take 105 to 120 days.

The effort to get the treatment plant has been under way since 2005, Whitecotton said. Floyd has been under an administrative compliance order from the Environmental Protection Agency since July 2004.

Mahoney said his company has worked on the project for eight months to a year, and the plans have been ready since March.

Whitecotton said fluoride levels in the water range from 4 to 4.4 parts per billion, while the legal limit is 4 parts per billion.

The water has 11 parts per billion of arsenic, compared to the limit of 10 parts per billion.

The arsenic levels met requirements until acceptable limits were lowered in 2006, Whitecotton said, but fluoride has been a problem for some time.

Mahoney said the treatment plant is intended to be a long-term solution.

High arsenic levels in water can, over time, contribute to skin cancer, cancers of the bladder, kidney and lung, and diseases of the blood vessels of the legs and feet, and possibly also diabetes, high blood pressure and reproductive disorders. High levels of fluoride can lead to advanced aging and weakened bones.