Wainscott well water problem could mean tax hikes

Posted: Updated:

Suffolk County water officials unveiled a proposal Monday night on how to bring public water to Wainscott.

The plan came about after testing found chemicals in a number of private wells around the East Hampton community.

The Suffolk County Water Authority says testing found PFCs, which can cause serious health issues.

Jeanne Cuddy-Peretz is one of the affected homeowners. She says she's been using bottled water because she can't use her own tap water.

"If bathing is even safe in our water, I don't know," she says.

Kim Shipman says she's gone so far as to file a class action lawsuit against East Hampton Town over the water contamination.

"We had good well water, and now with this situation, we're going to have to pay for the town water," she says.

Extending water mains into the community is expected to cost $24 million and take four to five months to complete. The town plans to pay for that by issuing bonds and seeking grant money -- likely meaning an increase in taxes.

But Supervisor Peter Van Soyoc is pushing back against the idea that the town deserves any blame for the contamination.

"Who is responsible is yet to be determined," he says. 

The town has been supplying safe drinking water to residents within the contaminated areas.

And the town is offering $3,000 rebates to residents who buy water filtration systems for their private wells. Those same homeowners will have to pay out of pocket to connect to public water mains once they're extended.

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