PFOA stands for "perfluorooctanic acid." It is used in a wide range of products. It is best known as a component of the chemical, Teflon, used in non-stick kitchen cookware. It is known to be toxic to humans and animals. Birds are especially sensitive to the chemical. It has been found in the water supply in Hoosik Falls, in upstate New York. It has also been found by one water supplier in Nassau County. In addition, PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid - - the sister chemical to PFOA), has been found in the private wells of residents living near the Gabreski aiprort, in Suffolk County. The US EPA recently recommended a drinking water guideline for PFOA or PFOS at 0.07 parts per billion. After the discovery, a program to collect more samples around the airport was undertaken. Reported by Jennifer Barrios, Newsday. July 30, 2016.
UPDATE: The Hampton Bays Water District announced it filed a lawsuit (2-21-2018) against manufacturers who used PFOA and PFOS in their fire-fighting chemicals and which have subsequently turned up in 3 of the 11 wells in the district. The suit named 3M Co., Buckeye Fir Equipment Co., Chemguard Inc., Tyco Fire Products and National Foam Inc. Wells were found to contain PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) in 2016 and 2017 and were removed from service. Reported by Vera Chinese, Newsday, March 2, 2018.
The Bethpage Water District which has been fighting to clean up the groundwater within its area from pollution originating from the Northrop Grumman Corp. property. Their lawsuit for damages ran into problems in the US District Court of Appeals in Manhattan. A three-judge panel ruled that the statute of limitations has expired on Bethpage's claim for damages and that it should have filed its claim earlier. There is a 3-year clock for filing a claim. Northrop Grumman claimed Bethpage should have filed its claim before 2010. The water district has spent $15 - 20 million on additional treatment for its wells and was seeking compensation. Reported by Emily Dooley, Newsday, March 2, 2018.
Old Westbury, in response to increased water demand in the upscale community in central Nassau County, has drilled new wells and has now completed a large new water storage tank. The district now has 7 wells and 2 storage tanks. The 1,300 water customers in the Village have one of the highest per capita water demands on Long Island. Reported by Christine Chung, Newsday, March 5, 2018.
The Long Island region of New York State has now returned to a normal to an above normal level of precipitation in early 2018, after several years of below normal rainfall.
The City of Glen Cove, in Nassau County, is working to keep two of its three wells in operation after they were ordered closed due to contamination by Freon 22. The Nassau County Department of Health ordered the wells closed upon confirmation of the contamination. However, the water district is working hard to gets the wells operational by the summer to be able to meet the high water demand and can not afford to be without the two wells. Since it would take at least a year to custom-build the Air Stripping towers needed to treat the water, as an interim measure, the district will install used systems. The City was also ordered to implement a water conservation program to reduce demand. The interim system could be installed by June 2018. Reported by David Olson, Newsday, March 8, 2018.
The Port Washington Water District identified high water use customers and requested that they conduct their own water audits to identify ways to lower their individual water use. The water district noted that about 1.49 billion gallons of water was used in 2015, which represented a 9% increase over water pumpage in 2011. The largest water use customers included:
The Port Washington Water District is to be commended on their efforts to bring water use issues to their customers and to help reduce water waste and over consumption. Reported by Scott Eidler, Newsday, July 21, 2016.
The old Roosevelt Field was the site of airplane history. Now, it the home of a major shopping mall in the middle of Nassau County, New York. The site is also historic because it has been known as the source of serious groundwater contamination for over 40 years. Still, it was left to linger, unattended to for many decades. Following efforts to treat the contamination with "air stipping towers", the conditions have not substantially improved so the US EPA is trying again to contain the contamination that is flowing south from the site toward the largest village on Long Island, the Village of Hempstead. Now, EPA is proposing a new effort estimated at $13 million to install a "pump and treat" system to remediate the groundwater plume that is a designated Superfund Site. Reported by Angelique D'Alessandro, Newsday, March 6, 2018.
New York State DWQC considered what MCL (maximum contaminant level) might be appropriate for drinking water in New York. Unlike many common drinking water pollutants, especially in groundwater, 1,4 Dioxane is not removed by conventional technology. A new system using hydrogen peroxide and ultra violet light has been approved by the NYS Department of Health for 1,4 Dioxane removal. The cost of installing the new technology could be up to $500,000 to $900,000 per site. Long Island has the largest number of contaminated wells in the state. Depending on the final MCL that is adopted, the cost statewide could range from $1 billion to $3+ billion. Reported by Emily Dooley, Newsday, February 25 and February 27, 2018.
In January 2017, the New York State DEC asked all water suppliers on Long Island to develop updated water conservation plans designed to reduce summer water pumpage by 15%. The voluntary program will track performance for several years to assess how effective the conservation measures are. Reduced pumpage is especially important for water systems in Nassau County where the impacts of over-pumping are being seen in the spread of contamination plumes and saltwater intrusion along the shoreline portions of the aquifer system.