Councilor Schnack should be commended for his understanding and concern regarding the contamination of private wells. MTBE and other pollutants, once in bedrock water, cannot be removed; prevention is the only remedy.
Jamestown is a sole-source aquifer. Our only water comes from precipitation, which seeps down through the soil into the bedrock aquifer. If that bedrock aquifer becomes polluted, those of us on wells have no access to municipal water. Our town water is limited and cannot supply the north end of the island. Our neighboring towns on both sides of the bay also cannot provide water, because they too have limited supplies.
At this point in time, decisions made many years ago are now impacting us, and we need councilors with vision to make lifesaving choices now. Just after World War II, a developer laid out small lots along the northwest side of the island, designed for small summer cottages. An active dump had been established during the ‘30s and ‘40s at a high point on the island along North Main Road. The dump was used extensively during the war with reports of 55-gallon drums, 10-gallon buckets, paint cans, auto parts, residential heating oil tanks and tires as just some of the items disposed of on the site.
These small lots, which are now supporting large houses, and the dump, which is proposed for a brownfield reuse, are frightening threats to our water.
Councilor Schnack has shown he understands that the highest protection measures must be undertaken to prevent contamination of our precious water supply. He deserves our commendation.
Kathy Cammans, a member of the North End