Water District Finalizing Plans For New Treatment System

A state of the art nitrate/perchlorate system in Southern California. The Plainview Water District will be building a similar facility that will be completely contained within a new building. It will be the only treatment facility like it on the East coast.
(Photo courtesy of the Plainview Water District)

The Town of Oyster Bay board recently approved the Plainview Water District’s request for funding a new treatment system that would help remove nitrates and perchlorate from the water supply.

The project would be constructed at Plant 4, which is located on the south side of Southern Parkway behind the American Legion. The system will be connected to the wells currently on-site and will be installed inside a brand new building that will also be built. The expected total cost will be $6,895,200 but thanks to a state grant awarded to the district in the fall of 2017, 38 percent of the total project cost, or $2,626,200, will be already paid for. The remaining $4,269,000 will be paid for through the bond resolution passed by the town.

“It was originally going to be just for nitrates but the board decided to go above and beyond regulation to treat perchlorate,” said District Commissioner Amanda Field. “We’re really breaking ground here. Even though our levels were not above any type of federal or state regulation and we’re not in the position where we have to make this treatment, we want to go above and beyond so that way we’re not waiting until we do have to.”

Over the 30 years of the bond, the cost for each Plainview Water District customer will be $388 per customer, which equates to about $1.08 per month and $3.24 per quarter.

“That’s over 11,000 accounts in the district and that number per quarter can reduce as we gain more accounts through houses built at Country Pointe,” said Business Manager Dina Scott.

Per the district’s website, perchlorate (CIO4) is a naturally occurring and man-made anion. It is usually found in groundwater due to the improper disposal of certain manufactured solid salts from which perchlorate disassociates. According to some health studies, it has the potential to impact the thyroid gland as it has shown to partially inhibit the thyroid’s uptake of iodine. The state department of health action level for perchlorate requires public notification when perchlorate is found greater than 18 parts per billion (ppb), and requires water suppliers like the Plainview Water District to report findings in their annual water supply statements.

(Photo courtesy of Plainview Water District)

The new facility that will clean this chemical out of the water is expected to be one of only two duel treatment facilities of its kind in the country, with the other being in California. The system uses an ion-separator (ISEP) method of treatment that will be cleaning the full 2,400 gallons per minute that is pumped into the two wells that are at the plant.

“It is a more robust level of treatment,” said District Superintendent Stephen Moriarty. “Because it is looking for both nitrates and perchlorate, it is a rare system that is not set up anywhere else in New York State. The only one that is comparable is the one in California.”

The district is currently in the design phase of the project. There is no set timeline for the project yet as they still need to inform the surrounding residents that the project will be happening. They also have to go through the state health department to get final approval of the construction. After the financing and designs for the project are finalized, the district will hold an open bid for all qualified contractors to submit a proposal.

“I’ve been involved in just about every aspect of water in my time being here, but I’d never been involved in a construction project,” said District Chairman Marc Laykind. “It’s just incredible to see how much has gone into this. Its going to take a while.”

For more information about the Plainview Water District and their current projects, visit the district’s website, www.plainviewwater.org, email info@plainviewwater.org or call 516-931-6469.

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