November 24, 2021 12:00 PM

The Suffolk County Water Authority has applied for $29,896,000 in grant funding from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) for key water infrastructure projects throughout the SCWA service territory.

If approved, the grants would fund vital water quality and quantity projects, including a 24-inch transmission main that would bring high quality groundwater from the heart of the Central Pine Barrens to the Town of Southold to restore the North Fork’s shallow aquifer system. Grant funding would also be used to bring safe drinking water to Manorville residents whose private wells have been compromised by perfluorinated chemicals and to construct advanced oxidation process treatment systems to remove 1,4-dioxane at 18 locations throughout the county.

“This is a historic time in America when it comes to funding for infrastructure, and water infrastructure is no exception,” said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo. “We’ve had some great discussions with EFC and we’re thrilled they are making this funding available for water suppliers across the state. If awarded, these applications would ensure we get our fair share here in Suffolk County.”

The Brookhaven project would install 20,000 feet of new water main in Manorville to connect residents currently on private wells who are impacted by the emerging contaminants PFOS and PFOA. SCWA public water, unlike private well water, is required to meet strict state and federal standards for these chemicals. The project would extend water service on Halsey Manor Road beginning at County Route 111 and extending north to Mill Road, then east to Doe Run, Primrose Path and adjacent side streets in Manorville.

“Every Brookhaven resident is entitled to clean water and the funding for this project will provide it to the people in Manorville where residential well water is no longer a healthy option,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. “I fully support the efforts of the Suffolk County Water Authority and will do whatever is needed to help secure the funding for this important infrastructure project.”

The Southold project would install a 44,000-foot transmission water main connecting existing water main in the Central Pine Barrens region in the Town of Southampton to existing water main in the Town of Southold to ensure an adequate supply of high-quality water for Southold residents. The pipeline would begin at the intersection of Flanders Road and Whitebrook Drive, extending east to Cross River Drive in Flanders, then north on Cross River Drive to Hubbard Avenue, then east on Hubbard Avenue to Edgar Avenue and Overlook Drive, then south on Meeting House Creek Road, then east on Peconic Bay Boulevard in Riverhead, then north on Laurel Lane on Peconic Bay Boulevard, and end approximately 750 feet east of Laurel Lane on Main Road in Laurel.

“Protecting our fragile aquifer is one of Southold Town’s top priorities,” said Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell. “Ensuring that the public has access to clean drinking water in abundant supply is critical to our residents. We are pleased to support the Suffolk County Water Authority as it undertakes a unique project that will not only reduce the strain on our aquifer today but expand our water supply in the future.”

Funding made available through EFC is divided into two award categories: Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grants (IMG). In total, SCWA has applied for $16,200,000 in WIIA grants to help pay for 18 new advanced oxidation process (AOP) treatment systems, which remove the emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane from drinking water. The new AOP treatment systems will be constructed in Central Islip, Northport, Kings Park (5), Terryville (3), Ronkonkoma (2), Brentwood, Fort Salonga, Hauppauge and Cold Spring Harbor (3).

In total, the 18 new treatment systems are expected to cost approximately $27,000,000. New York State WIIA grants can pay for as much as 60% of a given project, setting SCWA’s potential WIIA grant award at $16,200,000. EFC Intermunicipal grants can pay for as much as 40% of a given project. Combined, SCWA’s IMG projects with Brookhaven and Southold total $34,240,000, setting the potential IMG award at $13,696,000.

For more information about grant funding for water infrastructure, check out the latest episode of “What About Water?” SCWA’s podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts, or on YouTube here:

The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.

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