Brown water has Nassau residents keeping their faucets turned off

Posted: Updated:

Several residents in the Five Towns area of Nassau County say they have been dealing with discolored water for years from their supplier, New York American Water.

Monica Nahmias, of Lawrence, didn't use her water all weekend because of its brownish color and says it's been an ongoing problem.

"It comes and goes, we've called many times, we've reached out to councilmen and no one seems to care about the issue or they say it's not a big deal," Nahmias says.

Stafani Levitz, another New York American Water customer, says her water is discolored daily.

Lynda DiMenna, president of New York American Water, says the water is tested several times a day and is safe to drink. She says the company is currently replacing aging infrastructure, installing filters and working on measures to combat corrosion in the pipes, ideally leading to clearer water.

DiMenna issued a statement that says:

Responsiveness to customer concerns is very important to New York American Water and we have a process in place to respond to every discolored water complaint we receive directly. Addressing the cause of discolored water is our top priority. We are working diligently with the Town of Hempstead and the Nassau County Health Department to implement short and long-term solutions to this area's systemic discolored water issues. To better serve our customers, we have placed an emphasis on installing iron removal facilities, 12 to date in Service Area 1, and replacing aging water mains. We are also pursuing a water treatment change to reduce the erosion of mineral deposits within our distribution system.

We have replaced 39,100 feet of water main within the Five Towns area within the past 5 years in an effort to address this issue. While the number of complaints has decreased, they still exist. If you experience  recurring issues with discolored water, please submit a report to our customer service representatives so our team can investigate further at 877-426-6999.

Over the past several years, New York American Water has also faced thousands of high-bill complaints and state and federal investigations.

Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin sent News 12 a joint statement saying:

It's outrageous that our hardworking taxpayers are coming home to brown water coming out of their taps. We demand immediate action, and are calling on the New York Public Service Commission to require New York American Water to install filters on properties and to expedite replacement of its aging piping system.

They ask anyone affected by the brown water to call the Public Service Commission at 1-800-342-3377 or to visit its website.

Read more:
Sen. Gaughran pushes back against water rate hike
NY American Water customers getting $6 million in bill credit

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