News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,

February 6, 2001


County Executive Submits $344,000 Safe Drinking Water Program to Legislature

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhausís Safe Drinking Water Initiative has been submitted to the Dutchess County Legislature for Thursday, February 8, 2001 Legislative Committee meeting. This initiative was announced by the County Executive in his January 22, 2001 State of the County Address.

The County Executive said, "For many families in our community a clean, a safe supply of water free of contaminants is something that is on their minds every day. Over the past few months we have witnessed the serious contamination of water supplies in Hyde Park and East Fishkill, underscoring the need for Dutchess County to play a larger role in monitoring and protecting this vital community resource."

The executive added, "Dutchess County is unique. We are second only to New York City in the scope of our water supply program. We have approximately 736 active public water supplies in our county, which is a greater number than any other county in the state. That is why we are moving swiftly to take advantage of new State funding to expand our ability to monitor, protect, and ensure the continued safety of the Countyís drinking water." Under this program the County Department of Health will expand the sampling of public water supplies, increase the frequency of on-site inspections, identify vulnerable sources of water, and review plans for new and modified supplies.

The Department will also expand its sampling program by testing for a wider range of chemical contaminants, monitor supplies formerly outside its jurisdiction, and complete annual reviews of all systems which utilize treatment for biological disinfection, or the removal of chemical contaminants.

The County Executive noted, "More importantly, this grant will enable our Health Department to provide technical advice and support to individual homeowners who rely entirely on their own wells for drinking water. Tens of thousands of homes in Dutchess County do not draw their drinking water from a public water supply; rather they rely upon private wells. I believe it is important the county assist these homeowners by providing technical guidance and knowledge necessary to understand how to monitor and protect their wells."

The County Health Department will hire an additional five public health professionals, including a public health engineer, two sanitarians, and two engineering technicians.

The $344,000 program also provides funding for new laboratory equipment to enable the departmentís water laboratory to perform sophisticated analyses quickly and accurately, as well as additional data processing resources to document the vital information collected by the County Health Department.


2001 Press Releases