Cortland Considers Ordinance to Protect Public Water Supply

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Cortland Considers Ordinance to Protect Public Water Supply

Last Edited: 2011-08-17 10:52:12    Story ID: 4147

In an effort to protect its water supply the City of Cortland is considering a wellhead protection ordinance that would ban or restrict certain activities within proximity to the City’s water wells.

Last night the City council got its first look at the proposed well head protection ordinance. The proposal calls for new zoning laws to be adopted to further restrict and monitor development and other activities near the City water supply.

According to Pat Reidy a water quality specialist with the County Soil and Water department, the proposed legislation is modeled after a similar program that was adopted in Cortlandville; it maps out the most critical areas in the water supply and looks to prevent pollution from impacting those areas.

Reidy says while Cortlandville has adopted regulations that protect a portion of the water supply that feeds the City wells, water does not know municipal boundaries and the City would do well adopt its own regulations.

The new rules would not significantly impact development in the City as most of the are that would fall into the new well head protection zone is in established neighborhoods, however a large portion of Suny Cortland’s campus would fall into the new zone including Davis Field where the college has proposed to construct a 52 million dollar Student Life center. The site is directly adjacent to the City water wells.

The City will hold a public hearing on the proposed law on September 6th.

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