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From the LI Water Conference: September 13, 2011

Managing Our Precious Water Resource

The Long Island Water Conference (LIWC) continues to assure residents that Long Island water suppliers are committed to providing the highest quality drinking water possible, while managing the region’s water resource.

Contrary to recent erroneous media reports, which have indicated that the quality of our water is gradually deteriorating, Long Island water suppliers have been at the forefront of managing our environment for decades. For many years, safeguarding Long Island’s water supply has been – and will continue to be – the number one priority for water providers throughout Long Island. Long Island water providers have held polluters accountable for their actions and will continue to be proactive in their fight to maintain clean water.

Long Island obtains its source of water from deep underground aquifers that contain approximately 90 trillion gallons of water. When rainwater seeps into these aquifers, it is naturally filtered and purified by hundreds of feet of sand and gravel. However, with 3 million people living and working directly on top of our aquifer system, contamination is inevitable. Over the past 30 years numerous environmental regulations have been implemented to protect our groundwater. Some of this contamination originally occurred 40 to 50 years ago before we knew of the potential adverse impact on our water quality. The water supply eventually gets to the Long Island community through nearly 1,200 supply wells. These supply wells are monitored extensively and comply with strictly enforced standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Health Department and the Nassau and Suffolk County Departments of Health. In fact, New York State regulations exceed federal regulations and are considered equal to the toughest water standards found anywhere in the country.

As a result, Long Island water providers are required to test the water supply hundreds of times per month and thousands of times a year, unlike bottled water, to ensure the highest water quality and protect against a wide range of chemicals, contaminants and pollutants. Water suppliers have spent over $200 million on state-of-the-art wellhead treatment systems.

While no system is perfect, the Long Island water suppliers are the first line of defense against anything harmful that could potentially be in our drinking water. These suppliers have been a strong defense for many years, and they deserve gratitude and appreciation for all of their hard work to make our water pure, plentiful and safe for drinking. They are committed to protecting Long Island’s water supply and will continue to place the highest priority on sustaining clean and healthy water for Long Island’s current and future generations.