NEW CASTLE, N.Y. -- Imagine not being able to drink, wash, or cook with your tap water for a decade. This was the case for the Graham family, who is now one step closer to actually being able to use their homes running water.
Lawrence Otis Graham and his wife Pamela-Thomas Graham reside at 223 South Greeley Ave a Mount Pleasant address that borders New Castle, and have not had potable well water in over 10 years. The Grahams have a pool they cant use and must use bottled water to wash their hands and brush their teeth. They havent been able to shower at their home in more than six years.
The Grahams well water is contaminated, making it unsuitable for consumption. The companies we were employing kept suggesting, try a new water tank, try an osmosis system and we kept trying all we could think of but it didnt solve the problem, Lawrence said.
On Tuesday, the New Castle and Mount Pleasant town boards held a joint meeting to vote on the Grahams petition to connect their homes well to the New Castle municipal water and sewer system. The petition was approved unanimously by both boards.
The next step is a referendum, which must be voted on by the residents of New Castle, to officially incorporate this address into the town. If passed, the Grahams would remain in the Pleasantville School District but connect to New Castle municipal water and sewer systems and they would be served by the New Castle Police Department. The date of the referendum vote has yet to be determined.
I will feel truly relieved when I can actually turn on the faucet and drink the water from there. And when my kids go back and swim in our pool, Graham said. For six years Ive been basically lying to my little one saying we need you to pass the life-saving course in order to swim in the water because I dont want to scare them. I dont want them to think that they have to be afraid of pools.
Moving forward, if the annexation is passed via a referendum, which has to be voted on by the Grahams as well as New Castle residents, they must then incur the expense of connecting to New Castle municipal water.
Ive already found an engineering company to connect the water line, Graham said. Of course, I pay for all that. I dont know when all the engineering work would be completed.
In other news, the New Castle Town Board also approved an amendment to the town code which allows all one-hour parking spaces in downtown Chappaqua from here forward to become two-hour parking spaces.