Toxic chemicals found in some private wells in Yaphank

Posted: Updated:
YAPHANK -

Dozens of homes in Yaphank are being connected to public water after toxic chemicals were found in private wells near the Suffolk Fire Academy.

Suffolk County says years of using special firefighting foam at the fire academy has created a toxic plume in the area's groundwater.

Now, New York state is adding the site to a list of Superfund locations targeted for cleanup.

Henery Benetatos moved into the affected neighborhood, which stretches a few miles south and east from the fire academy in Yaphank. He uses county water, but says he still likes to drink bottled water just in case.

The Suffolk Health Department identified about 50 homes in the affected area with private wells. Ron Meyer and his wife had one. Officials hooked his home up for free to municipal water last year.

“They told us to not water if we had vegetables … don't eat the vegetables because it could have potentially been contaminated,” says Meyer.

Environmentalists say they are very troubled by news of the toxic plume in the groundwater in Yaphank, but they are also pleased that the county is acting on it and getting residents off well water and on to safer municipal sources.

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