Source Water Protection
PROTECTING OUR GROUNDWATER
To ensure that Suffolk County residents will continue to have a pure and safe source of drinking water, our groundwater, the SCWA is at the forefront of aquifer protection measures. Maintaining, safeguarding and improving the quality of our groundwater are critical for our public health, our economy and our environment. Source water protection also helps avoid costs associated with treating, monitoring and remediating contamination. Pollution prevention is always preferable to remediation.
Open Space Preservation
SCWA sponsored the bill that protected the Central Pine Barrens. These measures have resulted in the preservation of over 100,000 acres of land in central Suffolk, which overlies one portion of Long Island's federally designated sole source aquifer. We continue to provide resources to protect this unique resource.
We have partnered with the Long Island Groundwater Research Institute (LIGRI) at SUNY Stony Brook to study groundwater hydrology and chemistry and the impacts that certain practices have on our groundwater quality and quantity. The focus of this scientific research is Long Island's aquifer system, and the goal is to utilize the results in practical applications to resolve groundwater related problems.
We also support local research and data collection by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to assess the water quality and quantity of Suffolk’s groundwater reservoir. The USGS performs on-going environmental and hydrologic surveillance and investigations including a long-term groundwater monitoring program, data collection on emerging contaminants and nitrate trends, geophysical surveys, and aquifer characterization. The USGS also maintains a database of all of this information, allowing for historic trend analyses.
Public Education and Outreach
Public education is an essential ingredient in maintaining the quality of our water resources. We provide an educational outreach program for students in the 4th through 8th grades that covers the water cycle and protection of our drinking water. We also have useful information on our website (scwa.com), in our Annual Water Quality Report, and in billing inserts. Occasionally SCWA will distribute information to the public through newspaper ads, TV and radio announcements, and posters or plaques on our vehicles. Also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.
Additionally, group tours of our state-of-the-art water quality testing laboratory or one of pump stations can be arranged, or we’ll gladly make a special presentation to your civic organization.
Photo: Long Island Pine Barrens Society.