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Problems with radio communications linking three water wells on the north and south sides of the Allegheny River are preventing them from operating, according to Public Works Director Pete Marcus.

He said the wells could be put in sewrvice today if the technicians can complete debugging the equipment.

The wells were shut down nine years ago after it was discovered they were contaminated with industrial degreasers.

Three companies, Cooper Industries of Houston, whose McGraw Edison Division operates a plant in the Town of Olean; AVX Inc. of Great Neck, L.I., which owns Olean Advanced Products, and ALCOA Inc. of Pittsburgh, former owner of Alcas Cutlery of Olean, were believed to be responsible for the contamination.

The three have spent $1.45 million for cleaning up the contamined wells.

Once in service, the wells will supplement the city's filtration plant as the main water source for residents in the City of Olean and some in nearby towns of Olean and Portville.

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