The water we deliver to our customers is of excellent quality, meeting and often surpassing local, state and federal standards. It is important for our consumers to be aware of the extensive monitoring required of all public water suppliers. The Suffolk County Water Authority must comply with strictly enforced standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Health Department, and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. New York State's are among the most stringent water standards in the nation.
The Suffolk County Water Authority is required to routinely monitor its system by testing the water both at the wellhead and within the distribution system for a wide range of parameters, including bacteria, inorganic chemicals such as nitrate, chloride, lead and volatile organic compounds, including benzene and trichloroethylene. We are required by law to test for volatile organic compounds at each well site four (4) times a year. However, if there is an environmental concern in the vicinity of any of our wells, or if minute traces of a regulated constituent have already been found at a well site, the Suffolk County Water Authority will opt to test on a more regular basis, which may mean weekly, bi-weekly or monthly testing. We believe, to truly ensure a safe drinking water supply for all our customers at all times, an aggressive and comprehensive approach is necessary and in the public's best interest.
When wells are in need of remediation, the Suffolk County Water Authority utilizes Granular Activated Carbon (GAC's) systems to filter and purify the water. Currently the SCWA has 108 filters in service. Each filter costs about $500,000. That is why at the Suffolk County Water Authority, we believe "prevention" of the contamination of the water supply is paramount.
In addition to the monitoring that Suffolk County Water Authority does on a regular basis, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services also routinely performs tests of the public water supply at the wellhead and at various parts in the distribution system. The purpose of all this monitoring is to ensure that the highest quality water is served to consumers.
The Suffolk County Water Authority has its own New York State Certified Laboratory that in 2010 alone analyzed more than 66,000 water samples. Our laboratory contains apparatus (from the simple to the sophisticated) capable of testing some 300 compounds. In a nutshell, the Suffolk County Water Authority's public water supply system is extensively monitored from well to tap.