May 9, 2024 02:11 PM
From Right to Left: Chairman Charles Lefkowitz, CEO Jeffrey Szabo, Director of Water Quality & Lab Service Thomas Schneider, Deputy Director of Water Quality & Lab Services Chris Niebling

Drinking Water Week is a nationally celebrated week from May 5th to 11th to highlight the importance of safe drinking water and recognize the tireless efforts of local water professionals who keep it flowing around the clock. The Suffolk County Water Authority is recognizing this week by marking the opening of a new expansion of its state-of-the-art laboratory. The expansion will support SCWA’s mission of providing its customers with high quality drinking water.


SCWA’s water quality testing laboratory is recognized as one of the top groundwater laboratories in the nation. With the 191,047 tests performed last year producing 1.7 million results, it is at the front line of ensuring that SCWA is delivering high quality water. With a growing number of contaminants that water providers are required to test for, SCWA began an expansion of its laboratory in 2023.


The new area consolidates the collection of samples collected from SCWA’s public supply system around Suffolk County and distributes them throughout the laboratory so testing can occur for pesticides, herbicides, emerging contaminants, bacteria, metals and many other compounds. It also provides ample room within its existing laboratory to prepare for the future testing requirements. It is the laboratory's largest expansion since it moved to its current location in Hauppauge in 1994.


SCWA Chairman Charlie Lefkowitz cut the ribbon on the new expansion, remarking “We are so proud of our state-of-the-art laboratory and the staff that makes it the finest in the nation. Wherever I go, I always talk about its importance so our customers will know the rigor and attention that goes into making sure their drinking water is of the highest quality. This expansion sets us up for the future and I am thrilled to be here to celebrate it.”


Other Ways That SCWA is Highlighting Drinking Water Week:


  • SCWA announced that all the Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) treatment systems necessary for the summer pumping season are in service and ready to go. AOP systems destroy the carcinogenic chemical 1,4-dioxane. SCWA says that with 13 systems now online and functioning it is prepared for the heavy pumping season where customer demand is at its highest.
  • Students from around Suffolk County participated in SCWA’s second drinking water poster contest. Dozens of entries were made by students from kindergarten to the 8th grade that highlight the importance of water and steps that can be taken to protect it. Six winners were chosen from the entries and an award ceremony will take place on May 21st.
  • SCWA is highlighting its membership in Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection (LICAP), a bi-county organization to address quality and quantity issues related to Long Island’s sole-source aquifer. CEO Jeff Szabo currently serves as Vice-Chair and was the chief architect of the creation of the group. LICAP produces an annual State of the Aquifer report to educate and inform the public about the groundwater supply.
  • A water conservation media plan is currently underway that will encourage SCWA customers to reduce their water use this summer to protect Suffolk’s precious water supply. Using television, newspaper and digital ads along with social media and direct email messaging, SCWA is asking customers to follow the odd/even lawn watering schedule and install water saving devices like smart irrigation controllers.
  • The Amityville Union Free School District and SCWA ae partnering to encourage high school students to consider a career in the drinking water industry. A two-day career readiness seminar is being held on May 8th and 9th in which students will tour SCWA well fields, water quality testing laboratory and education center. They will also be given a presentation on the varied and diverse set of career opportunities at SCWA, both with and without an advanced education.


About the Suffolk County Water Authority

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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