Water District to Ensure Hydrants Are Operating Correctly as Part of Necessary Maintenance

Plainview, NY (May 25, 2022)—The Plainview Water District would like to inform the community that it has started its annual hydrant maintenance program. The purpose of this important task is to ensure that all of the fire hydrants within the District’s service territory are functioning properly and can supply adequate flow in the case of an emergency.

“Testing hydrants is a vital component of our overall maintenance program to ensure that this infrastructure is operational and available on demand when needed by fire departments and other emergency personnel,” said PWD Board Chairman Marc Laykind. “This routine operation is a major responsibility of ours to protect and preserve the health and safety of the community.”

During this routine maintenance—that is expected to occur through July 31, 2022—the District will perform pressure tests at each hydrant. These tests are performed by briefly opening up the hydrants to check that adequate flow and pressure is available throughout the District’s service territory.

While the hydrant maintenance is being performed, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration primarily consists of harmless minerals that have built-up in the distribution system over time. Residents can rest assured that it does not affect the safety of the water. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been testing hydrants in your neighborhood, it is best to run your cold water tap at the lowest point of your home for approximately two minutes or until it clears up.

If residents should have any questions about the hydrant testing program, they are encouraged to call our customer service representatives at 516-931-6469 between the hours of 8am and 4pm Monday – Friday.

District Will Receive More Than $19.2 Million in Additional Funding for Water Treatment Infrastructure Projects

The Plainview Water District (PWD) was recently awarded an additional $19.2 million in funding as part of New York State’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA). To date, these awards are the largest round of WIIA grant funding since the program was created in 2017 with a total of more than $638 million statewide and more than $250 million to Long Island alone. The Plainview Water District has now secured in excess of $28 million in grants from New York State over the past five years to help alleviate costs associated with constructing state-of-the-art water treatment facilities to remove emerging contaminants.

“We are thankful to Governor Hochul and the state representatives that have made this funding available so we can continue our mission of providing our residents with the highest quality water possible,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “The Plainview Water District is proud of the significant progress we have made on our treatment facilities and are thrilled that 100 percent of this grant money will be used to cover costs associated with past and present infrastructure improvements to treat emerging contaminants.”

The Plainview Water District currently has six advanced oxidation process (AOP) treatment systems in use across its service territory. These systems, when coupled with granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration tanks, are the only approved method of removing 1,4-dioxane from the public drinking water supply. Securing over $28 million in grant funding has been crucial to help absorb some of the costs to construct treatment facilities at impacted plant sites throughout the District.

“We have been relentless in our pursuit of constructing new treatment facilities to improve our public water system as well as identifying every possible avenue for funding,” said PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “We appreciate the significant investment New York State is making into the Plainview-Old Bethpage community, and we are certainly grateful for their assistance in ensuring we are in the position to continue delivering high quality water to our residents.

The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 seeks to invest $2.5 billion in wastewater and drinking water projects and water quality protection across New York State. It provides at least $1 billion for the New York State WIIA, which assists municipalities in funding water quality infrastructure. To date, $775 million in Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and Intermunicipal Grant funding supports nearly $2.7 billion in total project costs for vital drinking and wastewater infrastructure projects statewide.

“We are very appreciative of all of the support from our region’s elected officials for prioritizing the funding needed to lower the capital costs of these infrastructure investments,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “This is exciting news for the Plainview community as current and future residents will continue to enjoy water that meets or surpasses some of the strictest water quality standards in the nation for generations to come.”

Plainview Water District Urges Residents to be Responsible With Lawn Chemicals and Fertilizers

As part of its Preserve Plainview initiative, the Plainview Water District would like to remind residents about the impacts that premature and excessive lawn fertilizing has on our environment and water supply. The District implores all residents to be mindful of the Nassau County “Fertilizer Law” that prohibits fertilizing prior to April 1 of each year.

“We want residents to enjoy their green lawns, but we want to make sure that they are being kept green in the most environmentally friendly way possible that complies with the rules and regulations of the county,” said Plainview Water District Chairman Marc Laykind. “To help protect our sole-source aquifer and other local water ways, we ask residents to adhere to Nassau County’s fertilizer law to help support our efforts of improving groundwater quality and protecting our environment.”

In accordance with Nassau County’s “Fertilizer Law,” all fertilizers are prohibited from being applied before April 1, 2022 and after November 15, 2022. Residents should always apply the minimum amount of lawn chemicals to the soil and make sure they are stored properly. Additionally, all fertilizers or other lawn chemicals must be kept in cool and dry locations inside of containers that are not prone to leaks. By following instructions listed on the packaging, homeowners can minimize the amount of fertilizer used, limit the amount that runs off into the ground and into our sewer systems so the impact to the environment can be kept to a minimum.

“Our weather is unpredictable this time of year and our region always seems to get some spring-like weather one day and then get hit with an end-of-March snowstorm or cold snap,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “Applying fertilizers on frozen ground, or right before the ground refreezes, will take the fertilizers off your lawn and into our water ways. Save your money and our environment by ensuring you fertilize at the right time.”

Organic fertilizers—such as cotton seed meal, bone meal and manure—are other examples of effective alternatives to typical fertilizers that will benefit the environment. Biodegradable insecticides that break down to harmless substances in 2-to-21 days are also another effective yet safe way to treat your lawn.

“Purchasing the right type of fertilizer is as important as when you apply it to your lawn,” added PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “We want people to remember that the water we drink comes from beneath our feet so the more chemicals and toxins we put on the ground, the more they leach into our groundwater. When levels of nitrogen increase in our groundwater, the only option we have is to invest in treatment to ensure those elevated groundwater levels are not reflected in our drinking water. This is why we urge people to use natural, organic fertilizers at the right times rather than fertilizers packed with harmful chemicals.” 

Residents Opting to Install Home Filtration Systems Should Perform Routine Maintenance

For 95 years, the Plainview Water District has prided itself on its ability to routinely serve the Plainview-Old Bethpage community with nothing but the highest quality water possible. To do so, the District has and continues to invest in infrastructure improvements for water treatment and delivery as well as maintaining aggressive sampling and testing procedures that often go above and beyond required testing parameters.

“The men and women of the Plainview Water District are dedicated to this community and share a common goal of ensuring our residents continue to receive water that meets or surpasses all established water quality standards,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “In our opinion, home filtration systems are not necessary, mainly because our treatment systems already do so much more than what a standard residential water filter can provide. Those with questions about their water quality should feel free to contact us at any time or browse through the water quality reports and other fact sheets available on our website.”

There are many companies and organizations that try to use scare tactics in getting residents to purchase expensive water filters for their home that may ultimately have no impact on their water quality. Treatment is performed, as needed, at each of the District’s supply wells to ensure regulatory compliance with all federal, state and local standards. Each one of the District’s treatment facilities are designed by professional engineers and approved by the state and local health departments. New York State Health Department Certified Water Plant Operators are employed by the District to operate and maintain the water treatment systems. Water system operations are also monitored 24/7/365 to ensure treatment remains continuous and functions as it was designed.

“As a District, we are very fortunate to be working with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the water treatment field,” said PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “With something as important as water is to our daily lives, quality assurance is our most crucial task. Each component of our supply, treatment and distribution system is meticulously monitored, checked and verified so our residents can have peace of mind when it comes to the quality of their tap water.”

The Plainview Water District is required to test all its supply wells and various locations in the distribution system for more than 144 different parameters, including volatile and synthetic organic chemicals, inorganics, metals, bacteria, pesticides and herbicides. These tests are conducted by an independent, state-certified laboratory with results sent directly to officials at the Nassau County Health Department, who also conduct regular spot checks on their own. Results of these tests are published each year in the District’s annual drinking water quality report.

If a resident is considering the installation of a home water filter, please note that home filtration systems must be properly designed and maintained to the manufacturers’ specifications.  Failure to do so could actually make water quality worse. Any water quality testing that is performed in your home must be completed by a New York State Health Department certified laboratory for drinking water.  A home test kit will often provide grossly inaccurate results.

“Our water is disinfected with chlorine to proactively inhibit bacteriological development within our drinking water distribution system,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “Should residents find the chlorine taste and odor to be objectionable, a granular activated carbon filter (GAC) can be used to help remove taste and odor. With that said, the District already utilizes GAC treatment at most of our well sites so any carbon filter will simply be removing the chlorine. Keep in mind that filling a glass pitcher of water and leaving it in the refrigerator overnight will allow the chlorine to dissipate and provide a similar result.”

If a resident is inclined to purchase a home filtration system, please know that there are many different types and functionalities.  The EPA and State Health Department do not endorse specific units and do not conduct independent testing of manufacturer’s claims. There are three different certifications to look for on the label.  These organizations include NSF International (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Water Quality Association (WQA). If a home water treatment unit is not certified by one of these organizations, contact the manufacturer directly and ask for proof of the manufacturer’s claims specifically regarding the contaminants that concern you. Each of these organizations is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and they each certify units using ANSI/NSF standards.

It is also incredibly important for residents to understand that there are no approved residential filtration systems capable of removing 1,4-dioxane from drinking water. To combat this issue, the District is investing more than $50 million in infrastructure improvements to build these required treatment systems. The District currently leads all Long Island water providers with having six Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) treatment systems already in operation.

Stay Informed in Case of a Water-Related Emergency

Water is the most precious natural resource there is, and it is extremely important in everyday life. The Plainview Water District (PWD) Board of Commissioners would like to remind the Plainview-Old Bethpage community of the importance of signing up and/or confirming their contact information with the District. This accurate contact information allows residents to receive emergency notifications about their water service in case a situation should ever occur.

“The Plainview Water District has the necessary systems in place to immediately reach our residents if a water-related emergency were to occur, however, we can only do so if we have the up-to-date contact information,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “The well-being of our community is extremely important to all of us at the District, and being able to inform our residents as quickly as possible of a water emergency is crucial.”

The PWD utilizes a reverse-911 system, provided by SwiftReach Networks, which is capable of delivering urgent messages directly to residents via phone call, text, or email. Once a resident or local business owner submits their up-to-date contact information, the system will be able to contact them with information regarding a water-related emergency in their area. All contact information is securely stored in PWD databases and will only be used in the case of an emergency.

To ensure a resident is signed up to receive emergency notifications or to confirm their contact information is accurate, please visit https://plainviewwater.org/resources/emergency-notification/ and fill out the appropriate form. The contact information received will only be accessed in the aforementioned circumstances of a water-related emergency and will be kept confidential. Residents can also update or confirm the information on file by calling the District at (516) 931-6469.

Permanent Treatment Facility for the Removal of 1,4-Dioxane Underway at Donna Drive Facility

The Plainview Water District (PWD) is proud to announce that it has begun construction on a new, state-of-the-art treatment facility at its water production site located on Donna Drive in Plainview. This new facility will house treatment equipment necessary for the removal of 1,4-dioxane from the groundwater, including advanced oxidation process (AOP) system and granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. This permanent facility will replace the temporary system installed in 2020, which enabled the District to remain ahead of the compliance timelines for emerging contaminant treatment established by the New York State Department of Health.

“The District has been steadfast in our infrastructure investment program as our commitment to serving Plainview-Old Bethpage residents with the highest quality of water never waivers,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “Breaking ground on this facility is another important milestone for our community as this plant will continue to produce the highest quality water possible for generations to come.”

On August 26, 2020, the New York State Health Department finalized regulations establishing maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for emerging compounds 1,4-dioxane, PFOA and PFOS. This action made New York the first state in the country with an enforceable MCL for 1,4-dioxane. To ensure the District was ahead of the compliance curve with the new regulation, they embarked on an aggressive capital plan and installed a temporary treatment system—containing both AOP and GAC. Knowing a permanent facility would be coming in short order, the District and its engineers designed the temporary system in a way that the systems components would seamlessly integrate into the permanent facility.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure we met the new compliance standards well ahead of them going into effect, and that required a lot of planning and foresight by our engineers to put the pieces of this giant puzzle together,” said PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “Right now, this well site is seasonal, meaning it can only be used during the summer months when pumpage is at its peak. However, with the permanent facility, it will have the ability to operate year-round and provide our supply and distribution system with additional capacity.”

AOP treatment systems work by adding a small amount of oxidant (hydrogen peroxide) to the water to create a reaction as it passes through ultraviolet light which ultimately destroys the synthetic chemical. Once the reaction takes place, the water then travels into large GAC filtration vessels to remove any trace amount of oxidant that remain as well as organic and inorganic compounds (such as PFOA and PFOS). This treatment combination of AOP and GAC is the only approved method to remove 1,4-dioxane from drinking water.

“The investments the District has made and will continue to make have both an immediate and lasting impact on the Plainview-Old Bethpage community,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “Upgrading existing and building new treatment facilities are expensive, but its needed, which is why we have concentrated so much of our efforts in getting these systems up and running quickly, while also ensuring we are doing it in the most cost-effective manner possible. We look forward to welcoming this new facility to the POB community in the fall.”

Across Long Island, it is estimated that more than $840 million in capital investments with an additional $50 million per year in increased operating and maintenance costs will be needed to treat all impacted wells. The Plainview Water District is considered a regional leader in these efforts as they have six AOP systems currently up and running, which is the most of any water provider on Long Island. To help alleviate the costs associated with constructing the new systems, the District has been awarded nearly $9 million in infrastructure grant funding from New York State to construct the necessary AOP treatment facilities.

Field Served as President for the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association During 2021

The Plainview Water District (PWD) is proud to announce that Commissioner Amanda Field recently won an award from the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) for her tenacity in moving the organization’s mission forward during her time as president. In addition to her duties at the PWD, Commissioner Field was instrumental in being a central voice for Long Island water providers as they overcame many challenges presented throughout 2021.

“It is truly an honor to have my dedication to the quality of Long Island’s water be recognized by the members of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association,” said Commissioner Amanda Field. “I could not be prouder to serve as this organization’s president for the past year and for all of the accomplishments this organization has had in another year with unprecedented circumstances.

As President of the NSWCA, Commissioner Field initiated various many different endeavors to further advance the objectives of the organization. She initiated the development of a detailed press kit with an array of information designed to inform key stakeholders, such as State, County and Town officials, about the advances being made in the water industry, particularly from a treatment perspective. Field also lead the charge with the New York State Department of Civil Service to secure new test availability for water supplier staffs. In addition, Amanda was steadfast in better understanding how water suppliers in the region could access funding through the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Lastly, Field was instrumental in serving as a liaison between the NSWCA and the Long Island Water Conference (LIWC), as well as the Clean Water Coalition.

Amanda Field has served on the PWD Board of Commissioners since winning her initial election in 2016. In her role as Commissioner at the PWD, she led several initiatives with the local school districts to provide younger generations with a greater understanding and appreciation for their community’s most precious natural resource: water. These efforts have led to a more robust list of opportunities for students of all ages to learn about the operations of the PWD and their water supply. Commissioner Field is also recognized for her leadership role in implementing the District’s Preserve Plainview campaign that aims to bring awareness and educate the many ways residents can conserve water and protect our region’s sole-source aquifer.

PWD Commissioner Amanda Field Accepts Award from the NSWCA for her Presidency

The Plainview Water District (PWD) recently held its swearing-in ceremony to commemorate Commissioner Andrew Bader’s reelection to the Board of Commissioners for another three years. Commissioner Bader, who first started serving on the Board in 2010, has been committed to serving the Plainview-Old Bethpage residents.

“It is truly an honor to continue having the support of our residents for this position,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “I take my responsibilities very seriously. The District has been and will continue to embark on the most significant infrastructure projects in our more than 90-year history and I sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence this community has shown me. My fellow commissioners, Marc Laykind and Amanda Field, and I will never stop working for the betterment of our community’s water system.”

During his tenure, Commissioner Bader has helped advocate for more widespread adoption of several important water conservation measures to preserve the community’s most precious natural resource. Commissioner Bader has also been instrumental in spearheading the District’s efforts on emerging contaminant treatment that has positioned the District as a leader in this island-wide endeavors.

“I am proud of the advancements the District has taken and will continue to make in constructing necessary treatment facilities now and for our future generations,” added Commissioner Bader. “The District has been extremely aggressive in pursuing our capital infrastructure investments, which have led to the successful installation of a region-leading six advanced oxidation process systems for the removal of 1,4-dioxane.”

Commissioner Bader has also served on several different positions within Long Island’s water industry, including holding the position of chairman of the Long Island Water Conference, president of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association and a proud member of the American Water Works Association.

Andrew Bader is sworn in as Plainview Water District Commissioner at the most recent District Board meeting.