Bethpage Water District Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bethpage Students Go With the Flow

Local elementary school students learn where water comes from when touring Bethpage Water Plant 4

Bethpage Water District (BWD) Board of Commissioners, Chairman William J. Ellinger, Treasurer John R. Sullivan, Secretary Gary S. Bretton and Secretary to the Board Sal Greco, recently invited local students to tour the district’s Plant 4 on Sophia Street in Bethpage. Throughout the tour, Superintendent Michael Boufis and Senior Water Plant Operator Peter Schimmel detailed the path water takes before reaching faucets to Charles Campagne, Kramer Lane and Central Boulevard Elementary School students.


“We encourage the Bethpage community, no matter how young, to learn more about their water supply,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman William Ellinger. “It is important for students to understand where their water comes from and how it is treated to know their water is safe to drink.”


The BWD team led students throughout the plant to teach them how a well is drilled, where the water comes from and how it is pumped to Bethpage homes. The tour concluded in the filter room, where students learned about the treatment processes water passes through before entering homes and businesses. Students asked questions as they learned about the chemical injection and air stripping procedures that ensure the water delivered is of the highest quality possible.  


“Bethpage students are very technology-focused, so we tried to show them just how advanced the water-pumping process is,” said Board of Commissioners Treasurer John Sullivan. “We wanted to spark students’ interest in the digital aspects of the process, in hopes they would consider a water-engineering job in the future.”


During the tour, students scanned the advanced machinery and listened to what an actual working well sounds like. Students had to wait outside due to the high volume, and they learned how the plant can be switched on and off from the push of a button via a mobile application.


“Water plays an important role in these students’ and all of our daily lives,” said Board of Commissioners Secretary Gary Bretton. “We hope to educate the youth of Bethpage to make informed decisions about protecting their water supply and to inspire them to become plant operators and engineers in the future.”


Plant number 4 at Sophia Street was originally built in 1961 and was rehabilitated in 1994 and again in 2010. The students toured two wells that pump water at a capacity of 1,400 gallons each per minute for a total of 4 million gallons of water a day.


To schedule a tour of a Bethpage Water District plant, please call the district at 516-931-0093. For more information, please visit or the district’s Facebook page at

Photo 1: Senior Water Plant Operator Peter Schimmel answers a student’s question during a tour of Bethpage Water District Plant #4 where students learned how their water is safely delivered to homes each day.


Photo 2 [L-R]: Bethpage Water District Board of Commissioners William Ellinger, John Sullivan, Gary Bretton and Secretary to the Board Sal Greco welcome local elementary school students to tour a plant and learn how the district provides the highest quality of water possible to residents.

Photo 3: Bethpage elementary school students look through goody bags provided at the end of a Bethpage Water District plant tour where they learned the high-tech procedure that ultimately provides the community with a safe water supply.

Photo 4: Bethpage Water District Superintendent Michael Boufis teaches Bethpage elementary school students how water is delivered to homes and businesses each day during a tour of a plant.

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