Millbrook’s new water filtration system finally up and running
Scott  Osborne, of VRI Environmental Services, Inc., and plant manager of Millbrook’s water system, stood amid the new $1.9 million water treatment filtration system at the village’s long awaited water plant. Photo submitted

Millbrook’s new water filtration system finally up and running

MILLBROOK — After many years, multiple discussions and much disappointment, newly elected Mayor Tim Collopy was finally able to make this announcement: “The Village of Millbrook is proud to announce that our new water treatment facility is officially active.”

Collopy went on to explain that “The new facility went online Jan. 5th. We now have a new filtration system added to the original water treatment system. This filtration system  completes a $1.9 million upgrade to the village water system that began in 2018. This upgrade includes refurbishing the water storage tank in 2019.” 

On Jan. 16, 2015, a letter was sent to Millbrook residents stating that in accordance with regulations from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), groundwater sources supplying the village were designated as “ground water under the influence of surface water.” 

The letter also stated that the water system was in violation of DOH sanitary codes requiring the water be treated to remove possible pathogens associated with surface water sources. Water customers were advised it might require changes to the treatment system. The water was never designated as unfit to drink, although immunocompromised individuals were told they might want to check with their health care providers and take extra precautions. Routine testing throughout the years never showed Millbrook’s water to be unsafe for drinking.

The village, under the leadership of then-Mayor Laura Hurley, hired Delaware Engineering to design a new filtration system. After much discussion, the village fire decided it would use wells as its source for drinking water, and the process began. But after many months of digging, workers hit rock. 

That’s when the Village Board decided, working with both Delaware Engineering and VRI Environmental Services, to rebuild and refurbish the water system it had in place since the 1930s.

Through the remainder of Hurley’s term, the term of its next mayor, Rodney Brown, and the brief term of interim Mayor Mike Herzog (who filled in after Brown unexpectedly resigned months before his term was to expire at the end of 2020), the work continued. Now, as Collopy begins his mayoral term, the $1.9 million project was finally declared finished on Tuesday, Jan. 5 (barring a few odds and ends that must be addressed). 

Village residents and businesses were informed at the Wednesday, Jan. 6, reorganization meeting they could drink clean water without hesitation. 

Over the years, VRI’s Scott Osborne, also the water plant manager, has spoken in detail about the work done to the water system at various Village Board meetings. Now the new water treatment facility just has a few loose ends to tie up, said the mayor, and then the complete renovation will be officially complete, likely within three to six months. Collopy added once done, Millbrook will finally be able to enjoy its water.

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