Emerging Contaminants

Emerging contaminants are substances being discovered in drinking water sources throughout the country. Every four years, the Environmental Protection Agency puts out a list of a dozen or so unregulated contaminants that water providers are required to test and monitor. This actions stem from the agency’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). 1,4-dioxane and PFOA/PFOS were on a recent UCMR list which has led to detections of these compounds in water sources throughout the country. 1,4-dioxane specifically has been detected in 70 percent of Long Island’s water wells and has been detected in most of our water well at levels ranging from 0.2 to 3.8 parts per billion (ppb).  

1,4 -dioxane molecule.

On July 8, 2019, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) accepted proposed regulations from the State’s Drinking Water Quality Council that will set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). These proposed regulations are currently within the public comment period, but are expected to be adopted before the end of 2019. Currently, it is unclear when the new MCLs set by NYSDOH will go into effect as well as when water providers must comply with the newly created guidelines.