Wednesday, 31 July 2013 00:00
For the past 92 years, the Hicksville Water District has been providing top-quality service to residents and works hard to ensure absolute customer satisfaction. The district’s history parallels the growth and development of Long Island and the rise of public water suppliers in Nassau County. The Hicksville Water District has had a trajectory of dedicated local residents leading the organization to ensure optimized usage of Hicksville’s water resource.
“We are very proud to have our own local water source to serve our community,” said Hicksville Historical Society President Mike Christodoulou. “From an economic standpoint, having our own water, rather than importing it from upstate New York, allows us to have more control of our water quality.”
In 1902, the Town of Oyster Bay Board granted a franchise to the privately owned Nassau Water Company to establish a water works company. After almost 20 years of poor service and utility mismanagement, local residents petitioned the Town of Oyster Bay Board to form their own water district and the measure was passed on Aug. 30, 1921.
In the summer of 1923, the Karlson & Lee Company was hired to dig two 150-foot wells and build the district’s first administration building using a newly acquired five acres near the railroad tracks on Bethpage Road. The new wells began producing two million gallons of water a year, traveling through 17 miles of new pipelines. When the Pickle Works factory burned down in March of 1941 (see picture), the district’s two wells almost ran dry. Soon after, the New York State Health Department stepped in and ordered the district to make the necessary changes needed to supply water to the residents and provide adequate fire safety for the community. The district, then led by Commissioners Harry Borley, Laurence Bevan and William Rennie petitioned the residents to approve a $50,000 bond was issued on Jan. 2, 1942 to add an additional well. The third well was completed after World War II in 1947.
From its original building with two wells situated in the outskirts of the community, the Hicksville Water District has grown to nine plants and 15 wells strategically located throughout a 7.9 square mile area traveling through a network of 166 miles of underground infrastructure. Only seven superintendents, with Anthony Iannone currently serving since 2011, have led the district over the last 92 years.
Individuals who have remained committed to, and very involved in the Hicksville community lead the Hicksville Water District. The Board of Water Commissioners is committed to achieving environmental excellence while maintaining lowest rates for residents and local corporations. They place a high priority on meeting or exceeding strict federal standards concerning water quality.
“I take great pride in playing an important role in the Hicksville community,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Nicholas Brigandi. “Hicksville is dear to my heart and our water district is such an authentic part of our community’s history.”
There have only been 20 members of the community to serve as the Board of Water Commissioners. Brigandi is a Hicksville native and resident who has been a member of the board since 1980. Treasurer Karl M. Schweitzer, a life-long and third generation resident, has been on the Board of Commissioners for 10 years and Secretary Warren Uss is life-long resident of Hicksville who has served on the board for five years.
“We are very proud of the district; they have good workers and good leadership. Brigandi is doing an excellent job as the commissioner and he is one of the best residents of Hicksville,” said Christodoulou.
The district is also working on major capital improvements in the next five years. The district is currently completing a large project on water plant number six, expanding the facility to increase water-pumping efficiency as well as improve distribution for residents. They also renovated outdated equipment including pipes and electrical controls, as well as a nitrate removal tower. The district is also in the process of replacing the water meters of all residential and commercial establishment services. These projects are only a few within the series of improvements the district will put forward in the upcoming years.
The Hicksville Water District has played an important role in the history of the community it serves and will continue to do so for years to come. For information, contact the Hicksville Water District at 516-931-0814 or visit www.hicksvillewater.org.