A study was recently released from a nonprofit organization called Environmental Working Group (EWG), which stated that there are 23 contaminants in the Port Washington Water District’s water supply. According to the study, which looked at water quality reports from 2012-17, EWG found the contaminants 1-4 Dioxane, Chromium, Heptachlor epoxide, Nitrate and nitrite, radium combined (-226 & -228) and Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) to exceed the guidelines set forth by the nonprofit’s standards.
Following a string of resident concerns regarding the contaminants, the Port Washington News spoke with Italo Vacchio, superintendent of the Port Washington Water District. Vacchio dispelled the study’s findings stating, “The Port Washington Water District prides itself on the quality of its water and its ability to consistently meet or surpass the strict water quality guidelines imposed by the appropriate agencies at the state and local level,” Vacchio said in a statement.
“There are not many substances consumed by humans that are more rigorously tested for quality than Long Island’s tap water. Our community’s tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in the New York State Department of Health, as well as the Nassau County Department of Health. They all play a role in ensuring its quality,” Vacchio continued.
The nonprofit organization’s legal disclaimer states, “The product ratings, images, conclusions, recommendations and findings that appear on EWG’s web, database and mobile application properties, or in e-mail messages, reflect EWG’s research at the time of publication. Please be advised that this information frequently relies on data obtained from many sources, and accordingly, EWG cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided or any analysis based thereon.”
According to Vacchio, “The EWG is neither a federal, state or local agency authorized to set any quality standards.”
Each year the Port Washington Water District produces an annual drinking water quality report, which shares information regarding the water quality, costs, treatment of the water and more. Their goal is to meet and exceed State and Federal standards. According to the most recent study from 2018, prepared by D&B Engineers and Architects, the system did not violate a maximum contaminant level or any other water quality standard. To view the latest water quality study for Port Washington, visit www.pwwd.org/about/water-quality/.
For questions or concerns regarding drinking water, call the Port Washington Water District at 516-767-0171.
More information about the quality of the water can also be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or by calling the Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9692.