Plainview Water District Collects a Mountain of Toys to Support the Foundation

(From L-R) Plainview Water District Commissioners Andrew Bader, Amanda Field, and Marc Laykind stand behind the generous toy donations that will be sent to support the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Plainview-Old Bethpage continues to show its generosity year in and year out by contributing to the Toys for Tots Foundation. As it has done in years past, the Plainview Water District (PWD) proudly partnered with the Toys for Tots Foundation, sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. This year, over 100 toys were collected by the District.

“We are consistently impressed each year with the kindness and participation shown by the members of our community during the holiday season,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “Despite all of the challenges of the past year, we had an excellent turnout. These contributions are so valuable in making certain the holiday season is special for so many others. We look forward to continuing to support the Toys for Tots Foundation next holiday season.”

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve ‘Toys for Tots’ Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide all children across the United States with happiness and joy throughout the holiday season. Through the gift of a new toy, disadvantaged children will not be overlooked during the holidays, and will know that a community of people cares for them.

The Plainview Water District thanks the community again for their generous contribution during this holiday season.

New Water Rates Go into Effect on January 1, 2022

The Plainview Water District (PWD) is in the process of investing more than $54.5 million as part of its 5-year capital plan to improve the community’s drinking water infrastructure and construct required, state-of-the-art treatment systems needed to remove emerging contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane. In order for the District to remain financially secure and perform these required tasks, additional revenues are needed to pay for these investments and the significant increased operating costs associated with them. For the average resident using 30,000 gallons of water per quarter, the new rates will result in an increase of $8.82 per quarter or $2.94 per month.

“The District has recently been in a very favorable financial position, so we have been able to hold the line on rates the past four years despite millions of dollars already spent and committed to critical infrastructure projects,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “It is the District’s duty to serve the highest quality water possible to our residents, and this rate increase is needed for us to carry out that mission. We continue to do what we can to find alternative sources of funding, whether it be from grants or litigation against the polluters and chemical manufacturers. For the time being, this is an action we must take to continue improving the drinking water we provide to our customers.”

Aside from the staggering capital costs associated with building Advanced Oxidation Process treatment facilities, which are needed to remove 1,4-dioxane, the District’s operating budget associated with running these facilities has increased significantly. The District’s electricity costs alone have increased by more than a half million dollars per year due to the significant demand for power these systems require.  

“Over the past couple of years, we have done everything we can to find efficiencies in our operations and work to stretch our existing budgets as much as possible,” said PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “Due to our awards of grant funding, financial planning and use of reserve funds, we have been able to prolong the need for this rate increase until now. We know our residents appreciate all that we are doing to improve water quality within the community, and we hope they understand the need for these minimal rate increases as a result.”

As 2021 began, the District employed the services of a third-party consultant that specializes in municipal water district rate structures. The District tasked the consultant to calculate the revenues needed while reducing the impact to residents as much as possible. As a result, the District was able to remain within the tax cap while implementing a modest increase to each of the District’s rate tiers as well as create an additional conservation tier. The two conservation rate tiers, which start for customers using more than 126,000 gallon per quarter, are aimed at incentivizing these residents to use less water, which, in turn, helps the District save on various operating expenses while also promoting water conservation.

“In terms of usage, the top three percent of customers who consume more than 130,000 a quarter will experience an estimated increase of $29, where our lower users, those using approximately  20,000 per quarter, will experience an increase of $5.72. Minimum bills are only going up $2 per quarter,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “Implementing water conservation tactics, such as replacing your standard irrigation timer with a smart irrigation controller, is the best way for residents to offset these increases. Conserving water will reduce resident bills and also lower our operating expenses. Conservation is a win-win scenario.”

The colder winter months are here, and soon there will be snow in the forecast. The Plainview Water District (PWD) would like to stress the importance of keeping fire hydrants across the Plainview-Old Bethpage community clear of snow and other winter debris. Hydrants that remain free of snow can save first responders precious time when responding to an emergency situation.

“The arrival of more consistent cold weather provides for a great opportunity to remind our residents about the important responsibility they have of ensuring hydrants are kept clear this winter,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “As a community, we owe it to our dedicated firefighters to make sure they always have quick and easy access to fire hydrants at all times. Every moment counts when responding to an emergency, so please keep your hydrants clear.”

Residents are encouraged to “adopt” a nearby hydrant so there is a dedicated person responsible in keeping it clear during a snowstorm as well as reporting any potential issues. Clearing three feet of snow around the hydrant will allow firefighters to not only identify their locations with ease, but also provide uninterrupted access during a potential emergency.

“An emergency can occur at any point, so we encourage all of our residents to never assume the fire hydrant in front of their home won’t be needed,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “All residents are asked to speak with their neighbors before the snow starts to fall so there is no question about who will be taking responsibility for clearing the hydrant in a timely fashion.”

The District is also asking its residents to consider providing assistance to any friends, family members, or neighbors who are not able to clear their own hydrants. Those who leave their homes for the winter season are asked to please notify a neighbor who can ensure a hydrant is still cleared in their absence.

“Our community’s safety is our top priority at all times, and the District wants to ensure this simple, yet important step is never overlooked,” said PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “All of us at the Plainview Water District appreciate the attention our residents pay to this crucial task and thank them in advance for doing their part in protecting our community.”

Plainview Water District Responds Urgently to Any Water-Related Emergency

The Plainview Water District (PWD) knows the last thing its community wants during this time of holiday cheer is a water main break, but they are inevitable given the upcoming frigid temperatures. As the winter weather continues to set in, main breaks can become a more common occurrence, but the District is prepared to respond quickly and effectively to minimize the disruption to its residents.

“Water main breaks are inevitable in any region that experiences temperature fluctuations throughout the winter,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “While it is impossible to predict when and where a main break will occur, the Plainview Water District is prepared to respond to them at all hours in order to reduce the potential interruptions to our residents’ water service.”

As the case with all cold-weather climates, water main breaks are an unfortunate reality. Water main breaks typically occur when there is movement in the soil around water pipes or a freeze/thawing condition. Water mains are installed below the frost line; but, when the soil shrinks or swells, it increases pressure on the pipes causing a break. Though the length of time to repair a leak is different for each individual break due to location and severity, all PWD employees are trained to repair all types of breaks efficiently and quickly.

“The District is so proud to have some of the most hardworking and dedicated staff in the industry,” said PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “As soon as the PWD is alerted of a break, a team is dispatched immediately to minimize disruptions and perform the repair in an expeditious manner.”

For Plainview-Old Bethpage residents, the PWD encourages residents to be on the lookout for any water main breaks. Residents that notice a significant reduction in the water pressure from faucets, areas of wetness along the curb, bubbling of water in the roadway, or any unexplainable icy conditions are encouraged to contact the Plainview Water District immediately at 516-931-6469.

“The District has systems in place that are effective at quickly identifying main breaks, but there are situations where they cannot be detected right away,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “If a resident suspects there may be a water main break in their neighborhood, we urge them to contact the PWD right away and report the situation. Once a break is located, it can be repaired quickly.”

Water main breaks may also result in residents experiencing air in their pipes and/or discolored water. Water discoloration is not harmful for consumption, but can stain laundry. If you experience discolored water, please let the cold water run from a faucet or tub at the closest area to your incoming service line for approximately three minutes or until it clears.