What is happening:
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) will be conducting a survey of private drinking water wells along Landing Avenue, Oakside Drive and Valley Road in Smithtown. There are believed to be twenty-nine (29) private wells in the area. Beginning on Monday March 25, 2019 SCDHS will be mailing informational packets to those homes in the area thought to be served by private drinking water wells. Residents will be asked to contact SCDHS to schedule an appointment for SCDHS staff to visit the home to collect water samples for analysis. There will be no charge to residents for the sampling and analysis. SCDHS staff will also physically visit the homes in the area thought to be served by private wells to hand deliver informational packets and to request an opportunity to collect water samples.
Why is this happening:
In December of 2018 the New York State Drinking Water Quality Council recommended that the New York State Department of Health adopt new standards for the maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and 1,4-Dioxane in public drinking water supplies. The NYS Department of Health (DOH) is expected to propose a drinking water standard for 1, 4-dioxane in the near future.
A review of previously completed test results of water from two private wells in the area indicated the presence of 1,4-Dioxane above the newly proposed limits. The proposed limit for 1,4-Dioxane is one part per billion (1 ppb), which includes a large margin of protection. Previously completed test results from two private wells in the area indicated the presence of 1,4-Dioxane at concentrations of between 1 and 1.5 ppb. Chlorinated solvents were also detected in these two wells, although at levels below the MCL’s allowable for drinking water. Therefore, SCDHS is conducting this private well survey of the area as a proactive public health protective action.
What is 1,4 Dioxane:
1,4-Dioxane is a synthetic organic chemical. It has been used as stabilizer for various solvents and cleaning agents. It has been used as a purifying agent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. It has been found in various consumer products including deodorants, shampoos and cosmetics, as well as in some food products.
Further information is available from the United States Environmental Protection CLICK TO VIEW: The Agency Technical Fact Sheet 1,4-Dioxane
What will happen if anything is found:
SCDHS is coordinating the survey with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Town of Smithtown. Test results will be reviewed and recommendations formulated. Possible outcomes might include: no action necessary, home treatment, or connection to public water.
Be Proactive: Protect Your Family and Your Environment:
Residents can be proactive in reducing potential exposure to hazardous chemicals by seeking environmentally friendly alternatives in lieu of buying hazardous pesticides, paint thinners, and cleaning agents. When buying products; read the label. Whenever possible avoid products labeled Poison, Hazardous, Danger or Caution. If you have hazardous chemicals in your home; do not flush them down the toilet, pour them down the drain or dispose of them in street storm drains! You can safely dispose of household hazardous chemicals during a Town Household Hazardous Waste Event. These events are FREE to Town residents. The next Household Hazardous Waste Events are scheduled for Saturday April 13th and Saturday October 19th at the Smithtown Municipal Services Facility, 85 Old Northport Road, Kings Park. For further information call 631-360-7514.
For further information concerning the conduct of the well survey, test results, etc. contact: SCDHS Office of Water Resources at 631-852-5810
For further information concerning general questions about the health effects of these contaminants contact: New York State Department of Health at 518-402-7860
For further information concerning chemical contamination in the environment contact: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at 518-402-9625
For further information concerning access to public water contact:
Christopher Nustad, Superintendent, Smithtown Water District 631-269-0202