All About the Water: Survey Deadlines & New Mains

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Photo by Dawn Watson

First things first, since there’s a fast-approaching deadline for Monday, January 14.

Hampton Bays Water District customers need to send in their Second Opinion surveys on or before MONDAY regarding whether to turn over the management of the Hampton Bays Water District to the Suffolk County Water Authority.  This is very, very important so read up and make sure to participate.

According to the Southampton Town Supervisor’s office, this additional survey has been mailed to all customers of the water district and includes five questions addressing customer satisfaction, water quality and the proposed management agreement with the Suffolk County Water Authority. This new survey follows two public information meetings and a 10 question survey still available to the public on the Town website. The online survey has received approximately 450 responses to date.

In the recent public information meetings, the Commissioners heard requests for a public referendum, an option the Commissioners support. The Town Attorney’s office, with assistance from the Town Clerk’s office, is researching the proper legal protocol for holding such a referendum including establishing an accurate and verifiable voter registry and a mechanism for allowing for validated absentee ballots, since such a referendum cannot rely on the voter registrations established for a general election. It is important to also note, that a resolution to establish a public referendum and defining the details of any proposed management agreement would also require one or more public hearings allowing the additional public input prior to a referendum.

The Commissioners are encouraged by the community engagement in this process, an engagement that can only help them make a more informed decision. Again, recipients of the mailed survey have until January 14, 2019 to complete and return their response card. After the deadline, the results will be tabulated and made available to the public on the Town website www.southamptontown.gov.

And in East Hampton Town:

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Suffolk County Water Authority Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo (left) with East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc in Wainscott, with some of the last few feet of water main to be installed.

Just before Christmas, the Suffolk County Water Authority and the Town of East Hampton announced  the imminent completion of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in SCWA’s near 70-year history.  In Wainscott, the SCWA oversaw the installation of approximately 45,000 feet of new water main. The project, the largest water main installation Water Authority has undertaken in nearly 20 years, was designed to bring safe drinking water to an area impacted by perfluorinated chemicals.

According to a release sent by the Suffolk County Water Authority, the last 1,000 feet of water main should have been installed this past week. Prior to the completion of this added measure, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services had confirmed the presence of pefluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid in more than 150 private wells in the impacted area, located south of the East Hampton Airport, with a small number of private wells showing detections over the health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion. Yikes.

To date in mid-December, 124 properties had been hooked up to safe public water out of the approximately 520 in the project area. Ductile iron water main between six inches and 16 inches in diameter was installed. Additionally, copper and HDPE private service lines connecting the water main to each impacted home were installed, along with the installation of meters and meter vaults among other project elements.

“Insuring that residents of Wainscott have access to safe drinking water has been my top priority in light of concerns about chemical contamination,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. “Water mains have been extended in record time thanks to our partnership with the Water Authority. We have also been able to achieve nearly $10 million in savings for East Hampton taxpayers through a successful joint grant application for state funds for the project.”

The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.

 

 

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