Rep. Zeldin pushes for Navy to pay for public water supply in Calverton
Rep. Lee Zeldin and health officials are pushing for the Navy to help the Calverton community by paying to bring a public water supply to the area.
According to Suffolk County health officials and local leaders, groundwater contamination has affected neighborhoods surrounding the Navy's former site in Calverton for decades.
The contaminant, called PFAS, is directly linked to the use of industrial-strength firefighting foam during past training exercises. Residents in the community that surrounds Calverton don't have public drinking water, only water wells. They are pleading for clean water.
"I've been requesting water for almost 30 years now," says Ron Martz, of Manorville. "Right now, we're making headway, but we can't wait another 20 years. I don't want this to turn into another Bethpage. We can't wait 20, 30, 40, 50 years. People's lives are at stake right now. Something has to be done. It has to be done now."
Martz and Kelly McClinchy are among more than 100 residents in the area that have private wells as their only water source. A percentage of the wells tested are contiminated with cancer-causing chemical PFAS.
"We wash our dishes, our clothing, we take showers with it," says McClinchy. "There's no way to avoid using it."
Rep. Zeldin wants the Navy to pay and says it will cost about $12.5 million. Zeldin also wants the Navy to pay to clean up the aquifer but the cost for that project is unknown.
Zeldin says when it comes to Long Islanders' drinking water there is no room for error.