STAMFORD, Conn. — After doing its own well water testing over the past year, the city is beginning to see how vast the contamination is in North Stamford. The city’s Board of Representatives is looking to continue the tests.
The board's Stamford Water Quality Committee decided Wednesday night to extend the testing through Dec. 31, 2015. But a public hearing and board approval are also needed.
“The ordinance is just a tool, it’s just one thing. There is a lot more we have to do,” committee Chairman Mitchell Kaufman said during Wednesday's meeting.
The testing is good, but it does not change the fact that the water is contaminated, board members said. They made several suggestions for improvements, such as informing homeowners of filtration devices and exploring the possibility of extending the city’s water mains.
A call for the Board of Representatives to take action came after contamination was found in wells in Stamford in 2009. The results of the tests are available on the city’s website.
The well water testing ordinance was approved in September 2011, with a two-year “sunset clause” allowing the board to change, continue or end it after two years. The board supported the original ordinance by a 36-2 vote, and the first term will end Dec. 31.
Under the proposed ordinance, the city’s health laboratory can do 750 tests a year. Residents can request a test every two years, with the priority going to first-time requests.
Residents pay $100 for the test to cover costs to the city, including the test itself, mailings and printing. The city also hired a health laboratory technician for the additional workload.
The city’s website reports that 1,800 households signed up for pesticide testing, and the city has started an alternate testing program to help more people get tests. The alternate test costs more but is less than having it tested privately.
The full board is scheduled to meet Monday, and a public hearing should be held next month.