April 4, 2022 12:00 PM

From Melville to Montauk, SCWA customers can rest assured their drinking water meets or surpasses New York State’s strict water quality standard for the perfluorinated compounds PFOA and PFOS, collectively known as PFAS.

SCWA has been at the forefront of testing and developing treatment for emerging contaminants for years and has moved quickly to install treatment systems where needed to meet this standard. SCWA’s own internal water quality standards are more protective than what state and federal regulators require, and it is the organization’s ultimate goal to remove these contaminants from drinking water down to non-detectable levels.

“We know drinking water is constantly in the news, and so it is critical that our customers understand this,” SCWA Board Chairman Patrick G. Halpin said. “If you’re consuming SCWA water, you are drinking water that is safe to drink because it meets New York’s drinking water regulations.”

In 2020, New York State allowed water suppliers to apply for a “deferral” of up to three years to comply with new state standards for PFAS. This was done in order to give suppliers ample time to install treatment. SCWA has already finished installing the necessary treatment systems to meet this new PFAS mandate, and will not be applying for an additional deferral.

SCWA continues to install additional Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment systems to address PFAS, even at well sites where raw water is below the state’s maximum contaminant level of 10 parts-per-trillion. This work will continue until there is no detectable PFAS left in the SCWA distribution system. Additionally, SCWA is suing the manufacturers of PFOA and PFOS to help pay the costs of these treatment systems, so that SCWA customers are not overly burdened with the treatment costs.

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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