Dear Long Island residents,
Foremost, we hope that everyone is staying safe and abiding by all health recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While this COVID-19 outbreak has changed much of our daily lives, it will not hinder our unbreakable spirit to better serve the communities we love.
Responsible for delivering high-quality drinking water to more than 3.5 million residents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the membership of both the Long Island Water Conference (LIWC) and Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association (NSWCA) reassures every Long Islander that your drinking water is and will remain unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak. There is no need to be stocking up and hoarding bottled water.
Aside from standard treatment measures that would inactivate the virus (there are no known COVID-19 detections in any water source throughout the globe), our organizations have worked in lockstep with one another to quickly put in place necessary precautions to promote the health and safety of our residents and employees. Water providers across Long Island implemented temporary policies that closed public facing facilities and restricted the entry of employees to a resident’s home for anything other than an absolute emergency. We rearranged work schedules to better promote social distancing and have isolated key water plant operators to the greatest extent possible. The communication within our industry has been constant since the start of the outbreak to ensure that every water supplier has the personnel, equipment and supplies to see them through this situation now and into the future.
Like doctors, nurses, EMS personnel, police officers and firefighters, employees of water providers are essential and we do not have the luxury of staying away from the field. Regardless of the situation, well pumps and treatment facilities need to be checked daily, water samples from the distribution systems are routinely gathered to ensure quality and water main breaks must be fixed expeditiously to minimize service impacts. Regardless of what stops in the world around us, we must continue marching as every single person relies on us completing our daily tasks.
To the men and women of the water industry who continue to show up regardless of the situation and provide Long Islanders the stability of an uninterrupted supply of water in these uncertain times, thank you. Your efforts, professionalism and dedication to the invaluable roll you play in our society is very much appreciated. Time and time again you have proven that there is no situation or emergency we aren’t prepared to handle.
Richard Passariello, Chairman, Long Island Water Conference
William Schuckmann, Chairman, Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association