Nov 08, 2018

New York Town Searches For Source of Groundwater Contamination

Officials in Southampton, N.Y., are unconvinced a former town landfill is source of water contamination

Officials in Southampton, N.Y., are unconvinced a former town landfill is source of water contamination
Officials in Southampton, N.Y., are unconvinced a former town landfill is source of water contamination.

In New York, officials in Southampton are unconvinced a former town landfill in East Quogue is the source of drinking water contamination in the area.

According to Newsday, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman points to Gabreski Airport as a possible source for contamination. The chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are the contaminants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said the compounds are linked to certain chemicals and other health impacts.

“I’m not convinced this is even a contributing site,” Schneiderman said during a conference call, according to Newsday. Schneiderman is a Queens-based geologist the town hired to resample data.

The geologist’s report found PFOS levels at 4,050 parts per trillion at a well downgradient of the landfill. This meaning the sampled water flowed off the property.

The chemicals were detected by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in 45 private wells near the long-closed landfill on Damascus Road. According to Newsday, three of the wells have levels at or near the EPA advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

An upgradient well and a well west of the downgradient well had readings of less than 70 parts per trillion, according to geologist Eric Weinstock.

Schneiderman has pointed to the findings of PFOS and PFOA in a monitoring well as a possible link to the East Quogue contaminations. According to Newsday, the chemicals were part of a liquid foam firefighters used at the air base to practice extinguishing airplane fire.

County data from wells in Quogue and East Quogue will soon be available and provide more insight, according to Schneiderman. Source of the contamination will determine which entity pays to remediate the problem, according to Newsday. However, the town is currently seeking state grants and the use of its Community Preservation Fund money to finance public water access.

According to town officials, 44 parcels have been connected to Suffolk County Authority mains.

The system would need to be extended in order to offer service to 106 properties at a cost of $1.3 million, according to Water Authority CEO Jeff Szabo.

According to Newsday, residents in the Lewis Road area remain anxious and are questioning how soon public water could reach the area.

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