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Bethpage Water District Drills New Well

In an effort to continue to provide Bethpage Water District customers with safe drinking water, the district is drilling a new well in the Bethpage State Park, outside of the Bethpage Plume.

The well, located at South Park Drive, in the planning since 2005 and under construction since July 2013, will be the District’s ninth well. It is expected to pump up to nearly three million gallons of water per day to the Bethpage Water District’s 33,000 customers. Established in 1923, the Bethpage Water District serves an area of five square miles, including portions of Plainview and Old Bethpage, north of Haypath Road and east of the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway. It is anticipated that this will be completed and operational by the summer of 2014.

The problems with the groundwater in the Bethpage area are not new. The Grumman Corporation occupied approximately 635 acres in the Bethpage Water District beginning in the early 1930s. For decades, this site was used for manufacturing, and in the 1970s, the water supply wells used by Grumman became contaminated.  

In the 1970s and 1980s, pollution of the groundwater generated by Northrop Grumman was confined to the company’s site. However, in the decades since then, this has changed dramatically and the toxic groundwater plume is significantly larger than the community was led to believe.

At present, the contamination of groundwater has dramatically migrated from the Northrop Grumman site to pollute other wells.  There is evidence that three well sites in Bethpage have been affected and the toxicity of the groundwater is a major concern. The Water District has installed advanced treatment systems at the three well sites to remove all plume contaminants from the groundwater before it becomes drinking water and is delivered to the community. In addition to affecting the Bethpage district and the residents of the community, this problem is currently impacting a South Farmingdale well site as well as a well site of Long Island American Water and is extremely close to beginning to impact water in Massapequa, south of the Southern State Parkway.

Approximately two years ago, the Bethpage Water District leased a four-acre piece of property in the Bethpage State Park for a 99-year term from New York State as part of its strategic plan to provide drinking water as cost effectively as possible and develop new sources outside the plume left by Grumman. This new well is almost two miles from the district’s other eight wells. While the Navy has worked with the water district in addressing its needs, Grumman has not and is doing little to accept responsibility and remediate the plume.

To date, the Bethpage Water District has spent more than $20 million to provide clean drinking water originating from contaminated groundwater under manufacturing sites previously occupied by Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy. The agency has opted to open up this new well as a cost effective alternative to using the more costly advanced treatment systems to produce clean water from existing wells.

“Ensuring water quality and public health is of course our number one priority, but the number two priority is doing so in the most cost effective way possible,” said Bethpage Water District Commissioner John R. Sullivan.

The funding for the South Park Drive well project, an approximately $4 million expense, has become the responsibility of the residents of the Bethpage Water District, which has floated a 20-year bond from the Town of Oyster Bay to fund this work.

Rather than continuing to purify the water from existing wells, the district has decided it would be more cost effective in the long term to create new sources of water outside of the plume, including the new well under construction at the Bethpage State Park. At present, there are eight production wells throughout the district and there is evidence of groundwater contamination from the Grumman plume at the source of five of them.  

The water district plans to shut down some of the existing wells, or turn them over to the Navy or Grumman to remediate once these new sources are operational. Bethpage Water Commissioner, Gary S. Bretton added, “For years, we have been forced to spend additional money purifying ground water from existing sources. This new well will allow us to provide water to the community without the need for advanced treatment and guarantee Bethpage’s water safety going into the future.”

Bethpage Water District Superintendent, Mike Boufis, commented that the structure to be built on the site of the new well in late 2013 to early 2014 will blend into the ambience of the Trail View State Park. He described this six-month construction project as a “low profile ski chalet type of solar unit that will be environmentally sensitive and result in a low impact on the newly constructed bike path extension and multi-use trails.” He assured residents that the drinking water in the Bethpage Water District is “absolutely safe to drink and is completely free of any contaminants found in the groundwater affected by the Grumman plume.”

News

Bring your four-legged friends—in costume if they’d like—to roam Old Westbury Gardens during ‘Dog Days.’ Twice a year canines are welcome to accompany their (leashed) humans around the grounds of the mansion, and this is Fido’s last shot until spring. On Sunday, enjoy exhibits from rescue groups and animal welfare organizations from 1 to 4 p.m. A dog costume contest and parade takes place at 3 p.m. All activities included with admission: $8, $5 for seniors and $3 for children ages 7 to 17. At 71 Old Westbury Rd., Westbury, Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tel: 516-333-0048.


Mentorship is one of those goals rotary clubs strive for, particularly when it comes to grooming future community business leaders. Nowhere was this more important than when the most recent Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary meeting’s guests were Stanley Pelech, director of Integrated Academic and Technical studies and Jodi Haniquet, advisor of the Farmingdale High School (FHS) Interact club. Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people. The Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary is the sponsor of the 75-plus student strong high school club. Advisor Jodi Haniquet reported to Rotary club members what  fundraising events the Interact Club will participate in for the 2015 school year. The service group will once again team with FHS student government in a food drive – donations collected for Island Harvest pantries. They will also participate in Ronald McDonald house dinner program – cooking and serving meals on the premises in New Hyde Park for the many families staying at the residence while their seriously ill children receive treatment at nearby hospitals.


Sports

The Farmingdale State College Women’s Volleyball team earned a three-set victory of York in a non-conference match on Oct. 8. 

 

Tied 4-4 in the opening set, Farmingdale State freshman defensive specialist Gina Giacalone served for 14 consecutive points to extend the advantage 18-4. The Rams cruised to a 25-8 victory in the first set. 

Farmingdale team wins annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Race

On Sunday, Sept. 28, the Farmingdale-based Runner’s Edge team earned first place overall in the 29th annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Relay. The team, representing the Runner’s Edge running and multisport specialty store located at 242 Main St. in Farmingdale, consisted of Boyd Carrington, Andrew Coelho, Nick Pampena, Tim Lee, Shawn Anderson, Ryan Healy, Kevin Galante, and Brandon Abasolo. It completed the 50-mile course from Jones Beach State Park to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 58 seconds. The runners won by a margin of more than 10 minutes over the runner-up team from the Sayville & Smithtown Running Company, with much of the difference supplied by the strong Leg 2 performance by Andrew Coelho. Runner’s Edge Teams also took second place honors in the Mixed Open and Men’s Masters Divisions of the Relay. The Relay was sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union (“Built to Give You More”), with new Race Directors Glen Wolther and Keith Montgomery managing the event for the host Greater Long Island Running Club.


Calendar

Women's Club of Farmingdale - October 16

Board of Trustees Work Session - October 20

Jack O'Lantern Extravaganza - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com