County Approves Land Grant For Water Filtration System

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Location at Christopher Morley Park where proposed contaminant filtration system will be located, which is adjacent to wells and related operations. (Photo courtesy of Leglislator DeRiggi-Whitton’s office)

The Nassau County Legislature voted unanimously to approve a home rule message in support of State legislation that would allow the Port Washington Water District to build a new water contaminant filtration system at Christopher Morley Park.

The Morley Park treatment facility is one of three that the Port Washington Water District is building to filter out 1,4-Dioxane and other emerging contaminants from its wells. In order to build the facility, state legislation authorizing alienation of the County parkland at Christopher Morley is required. The small parcel of unused property is along Searingtown Road adjacent to other service buildings.

“Removing 1,4-Dioxane and other emerging contaminants from our drinking water is a critical component of our efforts to protect the health of our residents,” Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said. “As a staunch protector of our environment, I’m proud to continue working with our New York State representatives, leaders of the Port Washington Water District, and my colleagues in the Nassau County Legislature to bring this essential project to fruition.”

The filtration system will feature an Advanced Oxidation Process and a Granular Activated Carbon filtration system, which work in tandem to extract contaminants from fresh water supplies. Identified by the EPA as a “likely” carcinogen, 1,4-Dioxane is a byproduct of manufacturing and is also used as a solvent stabilizer in many household cleaning and beauty products. While Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in December 2019 that bans the sale of cleaning products containing 1,4-Dioxane in the state, the chemical does not break down naturally.

Through the support and partnership of New York State Senator Anna Kaplan and Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, the Port Washington Water District was awarded $18 million in grant funding for the filtration systems, which will help offset some of the District’s expenses as it improves its infrastructure to filter out emerging contaminants like 1,4-Dioxane.

“On behalf of the Water District, we wish to thank the County Legislators who helped to get the approval for the land acquisition for this much-needed filtration facility,” Port Washington Water District Superintendent Italo Vacchio said. “We are hopeful that the home-rule message will reach Albany in time for approval at the State level so that we can get started with engineering of the project as soon as possible. I’d like to especially thank Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton for her exceptional level of attention and support during this process.”

The Water District is planning two virtual public information sessions in the upcoming weeks. Visit pwwd.org to learn the dates and login information about these sessions. In addition, feel free to contact Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton’s office at 516-571-6311 or dderiggiwhitton@nassaucountyny.gov about the filtration system or otherwise.

—Submitted by the Office of Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton

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