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.