Push for cleaner water continues in Westfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Push for cleaner water continues in Westfield

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(Western Mass News file photo) (Western Mass News file photo)
WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Westfield residents said they're headed in the right direction after the city council's legislative and ordinance committee gave a favorable recommendation to try make the city's water cleaner.

Tuesday night's meeting addressed a $13 million bond request for filtration systems.

The water issue has tensions running high in Westfield. Residents said they want to see action, and are hopeful the bond can help with that.

Three of four wells on the north side of Westfield are shut off after high levels of PFC's were found. 

Some studies link its effects on child growth and behavior as well as an increased risk of cancer.

Kathleen McKee has lived in Westfield for 28 years and was recently diagnosed with cancer.

McKee told Western Mass News although she doesn't know if her illness and the water are linked, she’s afraid to drink her own water.

"It brought it more to my attention how they will clean up the water and who will be responsible," she noted. 

McKee said filtration systems at the wells would ease her mind.

The city council previously rejected the $13 million bond request.

Mayor Brian Sullivan told Western Mass News he's glad Tuesday's committee meeting had a different outcome

"The city focus is about cleaning the water up. So much testing, so much planning for this at the time. We need to act on it so we can move forward and clean the water," said Sullivan. 

DPW Assistant Director Francis Cain said the city needs the $13 million bond because a $5 million bond approved last year simply isn't enough.

"It's [a] positive step in the right direction; something we need to do. The planning for this has been happening for long time now execute it," Cain added. 

For the time being, Cain said they are doing everything they can to rectify the problem.

"Moving forward with temporary facility located at well 2 and we've got parts ordered and contractors are reviewing plan. We hope to get a start on that in 3-4 weeks," Cain noted. 

Mayor Sullivan said the next step for this bond is to go before the city council at their next meeting this Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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