Suffolk Water Authority outlines 6-year-plan to remove toxins from drinking water

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The Suffolk County Water Authority is looking to ease concerns over its ability to detect and remove potential cancer-causing toxins from Long Island’s drinking water.

It outlined a six-year action plan to deal with contaminants in the drinking water before the Suffolk County Legislature’s Environmental Committee.

PFOS and PFOA are chemicals used in firefighting foam and other flame-retardant products. It is removed with carbon granulation.

1, 4 dioxane, a byproduct found in personal care products and in industrial solvents, is more difficult to remove from the water and requires brand-new technology called advanced oxidation process, or AOP. New York state was the first in the nation to set a maximum contaminant level at 1 part per billion (ppb).

The Suffolk County Water Authority says it has 31 wells that will need to be treated for 1,4 dioxane, but that number can change.

It’s estimated to cost roughly $75 million just to install the systems. A portion of that money will come from state funding, but the water authority believes it will have to charge customers $100 more a year to pay for the filtration systems.

Water authority officials claim besides the funding, the New York State Department of Health has been too slow to approve permits for the 1, 4 dioxane filtration system.

Environmentalists say the six-year plan is six years too long, but water authority officials say that time is needed to get the funding to install filtration systems in the wells across Suffolk.

The authority hopes to start implementing the removal of the contaminants by early 2020.




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