Bethpage Water District Blog

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Access to Monitoring Wells Will Help Track Northrop Grumman Plume

Governor Cuomo and Senator Schumer demand action from Northrop Grumman and the Navy

The Bethpage Water District applauds United States Senator Charles Schumer and New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for demanding Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy grant state and local water districts the authority to access monitoring wells that track the Northrop Grumman plume. This data will enable the Bethpage Water District and water districts that service the surrounding communities to understand how the plume is traveling and proactively implement precautionary initiatives to keep the water supply safe.

“Senator Charles Schumer and Governor Cuomo’s efforts are a step in the right direction for local water districts,” said Bethpage Water District Board of Commissioners Chairman William Ellinger. “As your water providers, we are entitled to essential information that could help us better understand the plume’s travel pattern. With this data, we can make the necessary preparations should the plume begin migrating toward a new location.”

As part of Governor Cuomo’s order, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be mandated to conduct its own water-sample testing in Massapequa. The DEC will collect and test samples at six monitoring wells to determine what, if any, contamination exists near Massapequa wells. The Bethpage Water District and the Massapequa Water District will also be using the wells to measure the plume’s movement.

“Bethpage’s drinking water continues to be thoroughly treated and protected from the effects of the Northrop Grumman plume,” said Bethpage Water District Board of Commissioners Secretary John F. Coumatos. “This news is vital in the effort to hold Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy responsible for the plume they created in the first place.”

While the Bethpage Water District will use the data to make necessary efforts to protect the water supply’s future, the District continues to provide the necessary treatment and testing to keep the current water supply of the highest quality possible. This includes taking water quality testing to the next level, completing more than 1,600 samples annually. Bethpage Water District’s sampling protocol far exceeds the amount required by the Nassau County Department of Health. In addition to testing more frequently, the Bethpage Water District is the only district to test its water supply using parts per trillion as its point of reference. This is a significantly more extensive and thorough testing procedure in comparison to using the required standard of parts per billion.

“A part per trillion is equivalent to one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” said Bethpage Water District Board of Commissioners Treasurer John R. Sullivan. “The District exceeds all regulations to ensure the safety of our neighbors. Though the plume appears to be moving, Bethpage water continues to be safe to drink and of the highest quality possible.” 

The Commissioners want to ensure residents the District has been proactive in preparing for any new plume developments and is able to effectively treat the community’s groundwater supply. The District continues to take necessary measures to provide high quality, treated and safe to drink water at all times. The commissioners continue to advocate on the community’s behalf to safeguard the water supply for generations to come.   

For more information, please contact the Bethpage Water District at 516-931-0093, visit or the District’s Facebook page at

Photo 1: Bethpage Water District Superintendent Michael Boufis (far right) joins South Farmingdale Superintendent Charlie Prucha (far left) at a press conference held by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (second from right) with New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino. Senator Schumer called upon U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman to grant access to monitoring wells to local water districts. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered both parties to do so the following day. 

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