HAZLE TOWNSHIP — Some residents in Luzerne County are being warned not to use their water due to some serious health concerns.
Testing by the Department of Environmental Protection of that water in a community in Hazle Township shows an organism that causes the disease giardiasis, which can make people very sick.
In the village of Stockton near Hazleton, residents in 40 homes are being told not to use their water at all.
The Department of Environmental Protection said those homes are hooked up to an unregulated water supply and that water is unfiltered and untreated.
Now testing done recently shows an organism that causes giardiasis, a flu-like disease that can make people very sick.
“We`re telling the residents right now it`s not safe to use their water and that for bathing, drinking, washing cars, anything they use water for, they can`t use it,” said Colleen Connolly with DEP.
“It`s dangerous, I have four children in my house and a teenager right now, that`s real scary,” said Stockton resident Christopher Dowdican. “I`ve been telling my kids to drink more water because of the heat, so that means the same water I put in my pool I can`t go in.”
DEP has advised residents for years to get on a regulated public water system.
While it’s not necessarily a DEP violation, the water in Stockton does not meet DEP`s drinking standards.
“It’s water that’s not treated, it’s not tested, there’s high levels of metals in the water, there’s plant life in the water, insect larva,” said Connolly.
Some residents feel the water is still fine to use.
“My father had the water tested maybe a year or two ago and he found nothing wrong with it when he took it to a lab and had it tested,” said Lou Deangelo.
Dennis Kirchdoerfer said the residents themselves maintain the water system and they can’t afford a water treatment plant.
“Matter of fact they just had a leak at one of the pumps and they had to dig up themselves, we get no help from anybody,” said Kirchdoefer.
The Hazleton City Authority said if residents here want to be hooked up to the city’s water, they would have to pay to install a water line.
Kirchdoerfer said the residents definitely can’t pay for that.
“We live on a state road, we live in Hazle Township, they put a brand new sewer system in and they couldn’t run a water line at the same time, I don’t understand,” said Kirchdoefer.
DEP said residents should not try boiling the water because that could concentrate some contaminants.
DEP is attempting to get those affected residents a water buffalo to provide water.