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Old Lyme - Plans are underway to install a deeper well at the Lymes' Senior Center, after water contamination was found in the existing well.
The center at 26 Town Woods Road, which serves both Old Lyme and Lyme residents, has been closed since last Tuesday.
The new well, drilled into bedrock, is slated to replace the center's dug well within a few days. The shallower, dug well can typically be more susceptible to water pollution than a deeper well, said the town's registered sanitarian, Sonia Marino.
The state Department of Public Health has approved plans for the new well, a requirement for any modifications since the center's well is part of the public water system. After the well is drilled, the state will then need to test and ensure all physical parameters are adequate, she said.
The issue had surfaced when regularly scheduled testing discovered bacteria in the well. A follow-up test showed that E. coli was present, which prompted the closure of the senior center, said First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder at last week's Board of Selectmen meeting. The two towns have approved moving forward with a new well, she said, and the community has pulled together during the closure.
The center's programs have in the meantime been taking place at other locations, including Old Lyme Town Hall, the Old Lyme library, the Lymes' Youth Service Bureau and the Lyme Art Association, said Reemsnyder. The First Congregational Church and its kitchen have provided assistance so that the Meals on Wheels program can continue. The Estuary Senior Center in Old Saybrook had also offered transportation to seniors attending its luncheon program.
Senior Center Director Stephanie Lyon said she hoped the center would reopen next week, though she said it's not a firm deadline.
Residents with questions during the closure can call Old Lyme Town Hall at (860) 434-1605 ext. 212.