Environmentalists: Navy’s private water well testing is too limited

Posted: Updated:
CALVERTON -

A plan to test private drinking water wells in Suffolk for toxic contaminants linked to cancer is being criticized by environmentalists.

The Navy says it will test wells in communities within 1 mile of the former Grumman plant in Calverton. The location was the site of firefighting drills that used foam containing toxic chemicals that have leached into some of the area's groundwater.

Environmentalists say the Navy's test radius isn't wide enough. They want tests done to the south and west of Swan Pond and homes with private wells south of the Peconic River.

The Suffolk Health Department is now sampling private wells in Quogue and East Quogue, not far from Gabreski Airport. Residents there won't be charged for the surveys and can get free bottled water until test results are in.

Toxic contaminants similar to the ones at the Calverton plant were found in water wells in the Quogue area. Firefighting drills at Gabreski used a similar foam. 

"When it comes to our communities' drinking water there is no room for error," says Rep. Lee Zeldin. "Residents deserve to know what's in their drinking water."

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