The Nassau County Department of Health and the West Hempstead-Hempstead Gardens Water District announced last week that the West Hempstead Water District, serving West Hempstead and portions of Franklin Square, Garden City South and Cathedral Gardens, is free of contamination of MTBE and now meets all federal, state and local water standards.
On Monday, June 26, MTBE was detected in two locations along Hempstead Avenue. These samples exceeded the state standard of 10 parts per billion. The West Hempstead Water District, in consultation with the Nassau County Department of Health, notified customers and implemented steps for correcting the problem. The water district acted swiftly to take out of service those wells that had been contaminated and to flush the system. It continued to meet water demands by using interconnections with neighboring water suppliers.
The source of the MTBE contamination is still under investigation.
In order to reduce exposure, it was recommended that individuals should use bottled water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and making ice. Water was useable for brief showers, hand washing, laundry as well as dishwashing.
Residents, according to the health department, may now resume regular use of their drinking water.