Could LI tap NYC water supply? Officials explore the idea

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Local and state officials are pushing to get cleaner drinking water on Long Island, and some are looking west for a solution.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky is exploring the possibility of tapping into the New York City's water supply.

"I spoke to the city Water Department of New York City and asked if they had extra water and were interested in having Long Island purchase some. And they said they did, and they were very interested," Kaminsky says.

MORE: Long Island Environment Coverage

The state senator says he wants to find out how much it would cost for people in western Nassau County to get their drinking water from the city. He says that with emerging contaminants in Long Island's water supply like 1,4-dioxane -- a chemical that the CDC says may cause cancer -- all ideas should be on the table when it comes to clean, safe water.

Kaminsky says he's taking just the first steps in what could be a very long process. He is just requesting money for a study, to see if the idea would even be feasible.

Adrienne Esposito, with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says it's an option worth studying.

"We'd get cleaner water, and that's always a good thing," Eposito says. "It could keep the reserves that we already have in the Nassau aquifer in there, which would prevent saltwater intrusion and keep our lakes and tributaries and streams with a greater water flow."

Some Long Islanders are expressing interest in the idea.

"When I come here I notice a difference, believe me, I notice a difference, everything tastes like a chemical," Long Beach resident Jack Karp says of the local water. "I would like a solution and have better tasting drinking water, washing water -- and not spending $5,000 to get a filtration system in here, so I can feel safer."

But the superintendent for the Water Authority of Western Nassau tells Newsday that opening the connection between Nassau and Queens is complicated, and says that at best would be a temporary solution.


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