Annual Drinking Water Contest To Be Held Today

MAYVILLE — Who will earn the title of Best Tasting Drinking Water in Chautauqua County for 2018? This will be decided on Saturday at the Chautauqua Mall when drinking water from municipal water systems across the county will compete for the title.

This year’s participants include the villages of Cherry Creek, Mayville, Sinclairville and Westfield; the city of Jamestown; and the towns of Carroll (Frewsburg) and Ripley. The public is invited to stop by the water contest booth set up near center court in the mall anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., taste each water and vote for the one they like best. Voting only takes a few minutes and all are welcome to cast a vote.

“This is an important contest because it helps promote the importance of drinking water, which too often is taken for granted until it becomes polluted or is not there when we turn on our taps,” said Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County Commissioner of Health and Human Services. “We use the Water Tasting Contest as a way to encourage water stewardship and remind everyone that our everyday actions can impact our streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater, which is the source of our drinking water.”

“Managing public drinking water systems is hard work and requires dedication,” she said. “Water operators and health officials are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to water emergencies and outages. Our elected officials also play a big role by making water-responsible decisions. Many of our municipalities have recently made, or are making significant investments in our water infrastructure, which is crucial to assure they are up to date and delivering the highest quality water possible.”

Here are some tips on how to protect your family and preserve your drinking water resources:

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GET THE LEAD OUT

Lead presents health concerns for people of all ages, particularly pregnant women, infants and young children. Water entering your home from a city water supply or a private well is almost always lead-free. However, lead is sometimes present in older household plumbing and brass fixtures. Check your plumbing to see if it contains lead — copper pipes with soldered joints installed before 1987 is likely to contain lead. A plumber can help determine if you have lead and if so, have your water tested.

Free lead testing is available to all county residents – A $1.5 million state program to test for lead in drinking water provide New York State residents who are served by either a private well or public water system with an opportunity to have their residential drinking water tested for free, which will continue as long as funds are available.

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CHECK FOR LEAKS

Dripping faucets and leaking toilets waste water and cost you money. If you’re on city water shut off all water fixtures and look at your water meter to see if it moving. If so, you probably have a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. To check for a leaky toilet, place a few drops of food coloring in the holding tank and wait five minutes without flushing. If there’s a leak, coloring appears in the bowl.

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DUMP DOWN THE DRAIN

Flushable wipes, facial tissue, paper towels should be thrown away in the trash, not flushed down the toilet. Also, fats, oil and grease should not be dumped down the drain. Cleaning agents, solvents, paint and other chemical wastes should be disposed of for free at the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days — call 985-4785 for information.

Unused medications and prescription drugs should be taken to a medication drop box located at the Jamestown Police Department — call 716-483-7563 for information.

Investments in Public Water Systems – It’s critical that our public water systems be maintained properly because our public health, economic vitality, fire protection and quality of life rely on it. Many of our water mains, fire hydrants and water treatment plants are failing and must be replaced, which is a huge investment. Water utility managers and government officials must plan ahead for this and work together with rate-payers and other stakeholders to make that investment to prevent emergencies and keep the water flowing.

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