Bethpage Water District Pursued Pilot Study: Prepared to Treat 1,4-Dioxane
District Assures Residents There Are No Sites in Bethpage Where Any Level of Contaminant Exceeds State and Federal Regulations
In light of recent reports, the Bethpage Water District Board of Commissioners would like to reassure its residents that there are currently no sites within the Bethpage Water District service area that have exceeded state and federal regulations for any contaminant. In fact, the District has been proactive in performing a pilot study that investigated the removal of 1,4-Dioxane, which is an unregulated contaminant. Results of routine water-testing—required by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are recorded in the District’s annual water quality report. The report was mailed to homes and is posted on the District’s website: www.bethpagewater.com.
“The NYSDOH has set 1,4-Dioxane at a maximum contaminant level of 50 ppb, but it remains unregulated by the EPA,” said Water Commissioner Teri Black. “We continue to pressure the Health Department for their approval on an effective filtration method known as Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP), which was successfully piloted by Bethpage Water District in 2014. This filtration will allow us to meet and exceed any lowered standard that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA may set in the future. In the meantime, you can rest assured that we are prepared to remove all levels from the water.”
As an unregulated contaminant there is no official EPA drinking water standard for 1,4-Dioxane. However, there are no sites throughout Bethpage that exceed the regulatory standard set by NYSDOH of 50 parts per billion. By these standards, your water continues to be safe to drink and use. The District currently tests for more than 200 contaminants each year, which far surpasses what is required by the EPA, and is continuing to research new ways to be proactive and prepared to treat Bethpage’s water supply and protect public health.
“We knew that with higher levels of 1,4-Dioxane recorded at sites outside Bethpage, we needed to become one step ahead in preventing it,” said Commissioner John R. Sullivan. “We became one of the first Districts to pursue a pilot study that investigated the ‘Advanced Oxidation Process.’ The only treatment system proven to effectively remove 1,4-Dioxane.”
In addition, the Bethpage Water District is also working to educate the community in an effort to dispel any misinformation. A few key points of note are: 1) the highest levels of 1,4-Dioxane detected throughout all of Long Island have not exceeded 50 ppb; 2) The well with the highest reported concentration—Outside of Bethpage—of 33ppb, was removed from service in 2013. 3) The standard in place for drinking water is far lower than levels allowed in food and other consumer products. The EPA’s Technology Innovation and Field Services Division set the safe levels for 1,4-Dioxane in food products at 10,000ppb and for consumer products such as shampoo and dishwashing soap ranging from 2,000 – 300,000ppb.
“We live in this community and drink this water too, and just like our neighbors we are concerned citizens,” said Commissioner John F. Coumatos. “We look to regulatory committees such as the EPA and NYSDOH for direction, and we appreciate your support as we continue to pressure them for a solution. In the meantime, Bethpage Water District continues to be on the forefront of new technology and proactive in ensuring the water delivered from your tap is safe to use now and in the years to come.”
For more information, please contact the Bethpage Water District at 516-931-0093, visit www.bethpagewater.com or the District’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BethpageWaterDistrict.