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What is the advisory?
The Village of Tivoli has received soil sample data indicating levels of lead in the soil under the former water tower, in Memorial Park, that are elevated above New York State Soil Cleanup Objectives.
How did we learn about this?
When the old water tower was removed, before and after soil samples were taken as a routine precaution to ensure no lead was released during the take-down. While the before and after samples were found to be the same, both indicated elevated lead levels, meaning the presence of lead predated the removal of the old tower.
What is lead and how can I be exposed to it?
Lead is a heavy metal that is naturally occurring in soils at low levels. Human activity has increased lead levels in soil from sources such as paint and automobile emissions from leaded gasoline. Although the use of lead paint been discontinued since the late 1970s, historic use of leaded products may result in elevated lead levels in soils in the vicinity of buildings and structures historically coated with lead paint.
Exposure to lead in soils commonly occurs when people come in contact with bare soils and soil particles are inhaled or ingested. Having a dense grass or vegetation cover over lead contaminated soils reduces exposure potential.
Lead in surface soils at Memorial Park is very unlikely to affect the quality of the Village’s drinking water. The Village’s water supply is drawn from wells that draw water from the underground aquifer. The Tivoli Water System is in compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water.
How is the Village addressing the issue?
The Village has notified the Dutchess County Department of Community and Behavior Health and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Village and its environmental consultant are working with the agencies to develop a plan to determine the extent of lead in the soils near the former water tower and identify appropriate corrective action.
The Village will be restricting access to the area in the vicinity of the former water tower with snow fence. The Village’s environmental consultant will be collecting additional soil data to determine the extent of the soils with elevated lead levels. During this time, we ask that Memorial Park users avoid entering the restricted area.
The Village will provide additional updates through the Village website and email notification system as information becomes available. The assessment of soil lead levels in the vicinity of the former water tower is expected to take one month.