WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

Schuyler County Villages to Receive Help to Protect Drinking Water Sources


The villages of Odessa and Montour Falls are among the 39 new municipalities across that state that will receive free technical assistance to help protect public drinking water sources through the DEC and Department of Health’s Drinking Water Source Protection Program.

The multi-agency initiative, led by DEC and DOH in collaboration with the Departments of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) and State (DOS), empowers municipalities to take critical actions to improve and protect public drinking water sources and the environment.

“The Drinking Water Source Protection Program is one of the many ways New York is providing communities across the state with the tools needed to protect sources of public drinking water and conserve the State’s groundwater and surface water supplies for future generations,” said Commissioner Seggos. “We are proud to work with our partner agencies and applaud the latest round of municipalities for showing their commitment to improving water quality and access to clean water.”

“Technical support through the Drinking Water Source Protection Program enables municipalities to navigate the planning process for critically important projects that will safeguard the health of their community,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald. “We are proud to offer this assistance at no cost, and we thank our partners for their collaborative leadership in protecting drinking water sources and public health.”

Communities enrolled in the program will work with technical assistance providers to develop and initiate the implementation of a unique drinking water source protection program at no cost to the participating municipalities. The program is designed to build off previous work, help align priorities, and fill gaps within a municipality’s current and future source water protection efforts. Participating municipalities receive assistance in assessing modern-day vulnerabilities and engaging in preventative actions to protect drinking water sources from contamination, identifying effective actions to address potential contaminant sources, and implementing source water protection actions. The free technical assistance provided by the Drinking Water Source Protection Program helps take the complexity and guesswork out of developing, and initial implementation of, a drinking water source protection program plan.

In addition to the development of a plan, each community will initiate implementation activities focused on preventing and minimizing pollution of source waters. Municipalities have many tools available to reduce the likelihood of pollutants reaching the source water area for their public water supply. For example, a municipality may:

  • Work with a landowner to put an easement on a piece of land, or purchase a property that is near a drinking water source;
  • Make use of available state and federal funding, programs, and other resources to aid with the cost of implementation activities;
  • Establish a protective buffer or develop and implement local protective zoning around their source that controls activities or land uses that can threaten the water supply; and
  • Conduct education campaigns for their community to help them understand their part in protecting the source.

The Drinking Water Source Protection Program has taken big strides protecting drinking water resources across New York State since launched in 2021. Prior to today’s announcement, 74 municipalities worked to create a total of 46 action-oriented, community-driven DWSP2 plans to protect their drinking water sources. Eighteen of those communities completed the plan development process and subsequently received State Acceptance, moving forward on implementing their plans.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.