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.