Recent reports by activists in the media are misleading
With inaccurate media coverage recently circulating the news about water quality throughout Long Island, the Hicksville Water District (HWD) assures its residents that drinking water remains in compliance with strict state and federal water quality regulations and is safe for consumption. The recent report by Citizens Campaign for the Environment indicates that PFAS detections within the HWD’s water is above the state’s new maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for these compounds, but that is simply untrue. The data they used was not only a gross misrepresentation, but also wholly misleading.
“We would never serve our residents water that does not clear the rigorous standards provided to us by the state and federal health regulators,” said HWD Chairman William Schuckmann. “We have made a tremendous investment into our infrastructure over the past several years to install treatment systems and ensure that our water remains of the highest quality possible. It is unfortunate that there are entities that wish to tarnish the work that water providers throughout Long Island have put forth to ensure that all of our residents have access to safe, clean drinking water.”
The testing information provided in these reports was taken from the HWD’s publicly-available Annual Drinking Water Quality Report, selecting only the numbers which represent raw water samples of the highest PFAS content locations in its service area, which are not indicative of the actual quality of the District’s water. In fact, the opposite is true: on average, PFAS chemicals are at non-detectable levels throughout the HWD’s service area. The District conducts hundreds of water quality tests throughout the year, yet the highest values were represented in CCE’s report as being what residents are receiving at their taps. If water is found to contain PFAS levels above the MCLs, service from the affected wells is ceased until those levels are back below the established standards or treatment is installed to remove them.
Moreover, it is important to note that water providers do not set any regulations themselves. The HWD has successfully conformed to MCL regulations set forth by New York State and the federal government and will continue to do so. To put the onus on water providers to adhere to arbitrary MCL standards with authorization from the state or federal government is both irresponsible and unfair to Long Island’s millions of residents.
The HWD has been exceptionally proactive in its pursuit of the most state-of-the-art water treatment technology available. Over the last five years, the District has invested more than $70 million in the installation of Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment systems at several wells. These efforts have been successful, as the HWD currently has eight wells providing safe drinking water to its residents, more than any other water provider on Long Island. The HWD is also currently working on installing AOP and GAC treatment systems at the District’s Plant 8 facility, which is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
—Submitted by Michael Conn of ZE Creative Communications