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FINE: Too Much (United) Water

United Water customers will be getting more information than requested in upcoming bills. But they might not be getting the news that they need to know.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says the utility released more water than allowed between June and September 2007 and has levied a $10,000 fine on United Water for allowing too much water out of the Lake Deforest Reservoir in Rockland County. Another $7,500 will be suspended as long as United Water adheres to the agreement.

The DEC determined that 2007 Deforest Lake releases to their downstream New Jersey customers were 231 million gallons greater than permitted between June 1 and September 22. United Water is required to maintain a daily average flow of 9.75 million gallons of water per day in the stream immediately above the intake works for the Village of Nyack.

The consent order which documents this agreement requires the company to include “bill stuffers” to customers with additional information on water conservation in the spring and summer.

United Water has asked the state to approve construction of a desalination plant in Haverstraw which has met with local resistance from community groups which question the need.

The utility is also the focus of a law suit from NY and NJ residents who claim that overflows after an April 2007 Nor’easter caused property damage downstream. The suit claims that United Water showed negligence by not releasing water prior to the predicted precipitation.

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Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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