Following legislation introduced by Senator Carl L. Marcellino prohibiting the storage or pumping of water into the Lloyd Sands Aquifer of Long Island, Governor Paterson signed the bill on September 26.
Pictured at Nassau County's Stillwell Woods Park, are, left to right, Nassau County Commissioner of the Environment Tom Maher; Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach); environmental activist Sarah Meyland; Suffolk County Legislature Democratic Majority Leader Jon Cooper; Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias (D-Farmingdale); Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury); State Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset, 5th SD); and Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck).
"We are extremely fortunate to have access to one of the world's finest water supplies and must recognize the fragile nature of our sole source aquifer system. This legislation will ensure that this extraordinary legacy is preserved and protected," said Marcellino.
The Lloyd Sands Aquifer is the lone source of drinking water for roughly 10 percent of Nassau County residents and this water source is under serious threat of contamination.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection was considering a demonstration test, which would have pumped 300 to 400 gallons of water a day into the Lloyd Sands Aquifer to see if this could be a solution for water storage for New York City. This would have had two detrimental effects. First, the Lloyd Sands Aquifer is vulnerable to overuse and may leak, especially when it's under pressure from additional thousands of gallons of water being pumped into it.
Secondly, there are unforeseen chemical reactions that may take place when the aquifer's pristine water is mixed with dissolved nutrients and bacteria from the treated surface water that will be pumped into the aquifer. One possibility is that nitrogen could fuel a growth of bacteria that could clog existing wells. This bill will now prohibit the storage or pumping of water into the Lloyd Sands Aquifer and keep Long Island's drinking water pristine and unharmed.
"On behalf of the Long Island Water Conference, I would like to thank Senator Marcellino and all our elected officials who supported the bill that will further protect one of Long Island's most precious natural resources-our water. The bill to protect the Lloyd Aquifer will benefit many of our coastal communities that are dependent upon the aquifer as a source of drinking water. The passage of the bill, supporting the most pristine of the three Long Island aquifers, will continue to maintain the purest water at the lowest rates for our communities and increases the volume of water available for future use," said Ken Claus, Chairman of the Long Island Water Conference.
"I applaud Governor Paterson for signing this important legislation," said Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. "As the only source of drinking water for more than 3 million Long Island residents, including 10 percent of Nassau County residents, keeping the Lloyd Aquifer free of contamination is of utmost concern. This bill ensures that the drinking water for many Long Island residents will be forever protected."
The widespread concern was, and will continue to be, that chemicals in treated water could pose a serious health threat when mixing with the pristine water in the Lloyd Aquifer. Elected officials from both Nassau and Suffolk County united in Woodbury last week to ask for the signing of the bill banning the pumping and storage of treated water into the Lloyd Aquifer, the deepest and purest source of drinking water on Long Island.
"Once again Governor Paterson has shown his leadership and concern on environmental issues affecting Long Islanders," said Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias.