WOODLAND PARK N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The clean water reservoirs are a small slice of seventh heaven for the residents in and around Woodland Park, N.J., but now they’re being threatened with extinction, and worse.

“Who wants a bunch of big water tanks there?” said Ian Samuel.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Wednesday, Samuel and his family live right across the street from the Great Notch Reservoir, where the Passaic Valley Water Commission — under federal EPA mandate — plans to drain the water and build huge water tanks.

“I think it’s going to destroy the beautiful landscape that we have here in Woodland Park,” he added.

Samuel and others understand the concerns about open air drinking water sources being contaminated, but said that building water tanks has sparked alarm about water rate hikes, wildlife safety, and property values.

“We’re going to continue to oppose this because once we lose these reservoirs we’re never going to get them back,” said Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark .

Kazmark said he believes the water authority can and should consider alternatives to the plan.

“Maybe tanks at the end of the day, but maybe not tanks at the expense of draining reservoirs, maybe finding alternate sites,” the mayor said.

The Passaic Valley Water Commission told CBS 2 News that while water tanks will replace the reservoirs as clean water sources, the commission is looking into the possibility of improving the aesthetics of such a move, including moving the tanks off site.

The possibility of building large water tanks in the area is something people just can’t seem to stomach.

“Looks like an industrial park. You know, its supposed to be a nature reserve,” one resident said.

Construction on the water tanks is at least a few years away. Calls to the EPA were not returned.

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