In accordance with Federal and State regulations, the Port Washington Water District produces an Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. This in-depth report is filled with important information regarding water quality, cost, sources, treatment and more. The most recent Drinking Water Quality Report can be found on our Water Quality page and can be viewed online as a PDF.
In an effort to better serve our consumers with information and timely news, we’re proud to launch our new website! Now you can easily access the District’s site by smartphone, tablet and desktop.
The new site features an upgraded “News” section that will be updated regularly with the latest developments throughout the District. Navigational features also include information on “Billing,” “Conservation” and “Current Projects“.
The site will also provide information regarding ordinances, public notices, fact sheets and soon consumers will be able to pay their bill online through an easy-to-access payment system.
The new, responsive website was designed and developed to provide a more streamlined, user-friendly experience for consumers. “It was important to the District that we stay up to date with emerging technologies and provide easy access to pertinent information and services. Our goal is to provide a valuable tool and reliable resource for all consumers,” commented Commissioner Peter Meyer.
The Port Washington Water District (PWWD) is setting the benchmark for water conservation with its progressive and proactive Be Smart and Green, Save 15 campaign. Joined by local government officials, the District laid out plans last summer to reduce District-wide water consumption by 15 percent during the irrigation season.
The campaign reflects estimates by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that pumpage amounts may be surpassing Nassau County’s permissible yields by 15 percent. “The Be Smart and Green, Save 15 water conservation campaign is vital to the sustainability of our sole source aquifer,” said David Brackett, Chairman of PWWD’s Board of Commissioners. “As we head into the peak part of the summer in terms of water consumption per resident, we implore the community to come together, to join this ever-important effort and to implement some simple yet effective conservation tactics to conserve our most precious natural resource.”
The campaign has been designed to educate residents and to provide helpful suggestions to effortlessly reduce their water consumption. “If we continue pumping at current levels, we will be jeopardizing the future sustainability of the peninsula’s water supply by introducing the irreversible effects of saltwater intrusion,” said PWWD Commissioner Mindy Germain. “The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is undertaking a study that will give us an exact picture of our pumpage yields and will allow us to fully understand what level of pumping will keep our supply sustainable. Until this study is complete, we ask that all residents strictly adhere to Nassau County’s ordinance of the odd-even watering schedule as this will have a positive impact and contribute to our conservation goals in a very significant way.”
Aside from educating residents, the District has expanded its water conservation program by implementing a distribution leak-detection program that has already identified 17 locations where water is being wasted. By fixing these leaks alone, the District anticipates achieving a water savings of more than 113,000 gallons per day!
In addition, the District will consult with its top water users to improve their water efficiency by reviewing existing irrigation systems to reduce water waste.
Last summer the District pilot-tested EPA WaterSense smart irrigation controller technology at its administration building, which resulted in a significant reduction in SAVE Be SMART and GREEN, water use while maintaining a green lawn. “The District is doing everything it can with the resources at its disposal to identify and to target locations throughout the District where water is unnecessarily being wasted,” said PWWD Commissioner Peter Meyer. “The use of state-of-the-art technology enabled us to save large sums of water. The District’s smart irrigation controller pilot program at our headquarters, for example, has kept our lawn and plants green while saving more than 52,000 gallons of water since we conducted the pilot last summer.”
To learn more about this program, visit our Be Smart and Green, Save 15 page within our website, and visit our Conservation page for helpful tips and suggestions for conserving water at home, or your place of business.
PWWD STAYS ON TOP OF 1,4-DIOXANE CONCERNS
Port Washington Water District has always taken a proactive approach to testing and reporting on potential emerging contaminants, specifically with 1,4-dioxane. Initial testing was conducted during 2014, and the District volunteered to conduct a repeat sampling in 2016. Resampling and testing will continue to take place in the coming months.
Recent media coverage on the detection of 1,4-dioxane in various Long Island drinking water wells has heightened public awareness of the issue. PWWD Superintendent Paul Granger, P.E. is the chair of the New York Section AWWA Water Utility Council and is currently working with other water health professionals to ensure that every precaution is being taken to protect our water supply. He has prepared the following overview and outline of 1,4-dioxane to further educate consumers.
What is 1,4-Dioxane?
1,4-dioxane is a synthetic chemical used as a solvent and a chlorinated solvent stabilizer for industrial chemicals, predominantly 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA). It is used in a variety of applications such as inks and adhesives. It is also found in every day household items such as:
- Hair Care
- And More
It is important to note that this is an issue that reaches far beyond drinking water. This is only an issue for water supply systems because its presence is so pervasive in these everyday household products.
There is currently no chemical-specific Federal or New York State drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane; however, it is regulated as an Unspecified Organic Contaminant by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) at a maximum contaminant level (standard) of 50 parts per billion (ppb). Our 1,4-Dioxane point of entry test results ranged from below detection limits to 1.90 ppb with an average of 0.75 ppb. These results are lower than the New York State Health Department standard, so there are no special actions our District or our consumers need to take. Levels of 1,4-dioxane do not appear to be increasing on Long Island. Generally, detections of the compound have been fairly stable, not trending upward.
The EPA also established a lifetime health advisory of 200 ppb for 1,4-dioxane in drinking water (Source: EPA 2012). In addition, the U.S. EPA has estimated the concentration of 1,4-dioxane in water corresponding to an increased lifetime cancer risk of one in a million, assuming consumption of 2 liters of water per day each and every day for a lifetime (70 years), which is 0.35 ppb. This health-protective criterion is often used as a non-regulatory benchmark for minimal risk.
The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to monitor for 1,4-dioxane in consumer products, and legislation has been proposed to regulate and to restrict chemicals such as 1,4-dioxane. While many personal care product companies are beginning to voluntarily remove this chemical from their products, elected officials have begun to petition the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require that all manufacturers remove 1,4-dioxane from consumer products like shampoos and lotions.
What about home water treatment devices and bottled water?
Water provided by our District is already lower than the current state regulatory standard for unspecified organic contaminants, so there are no special actions that our customers need to take. Regulations for 1,4-dioxane in bottled water (which are enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) have not been developed. Bottled water manufacturers may have specific information on 1,4-dioxane levels for their products.
Will the EPA be setting a standard for 1,4-Dioxane?
That is yet to be determined. The EPA regularly reviews drinking water standards as new science becomes available and is currently reviewing new 1,4-dioxane health effects information. Once the review is completed, the EPA will carefully review the conclusions and consider all relevant information to determine whether a drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane is needed. The drinking water community is working with the EPA to review all relevant information on 1,4-dioxane including health effects, occurrence and treatment options. This work will help support the EPA in its decision-making process.
As residents may be aware from previous community meetings and communications, Port Washington Water District will be replacing the Beacon Hill water tower in 2017. The current water tower has reached the end of its useful life, and a full tank replacement has been determined to be the best and most cost-effective option for the community. The tank replacement project will safeguard the continued health, safety and sustainability of the District’s water supply and distribution.
Bids for the project were solicited in January and after a thorough review of the bidder’s qualifications and experience, the project has been awarded to Caldwell Tanks, Inc. The tank contractor has been constructing portable water storage tanks in the United States since 1887. Their most recent and successfully completed project was for Manhasset-Lakeville Water District.
Chairman of the PWWD’s Board of Commissioners David Bracket explained that water tanks designed today are more resilient, easier to maintain and better equipped to optimize water pressure during times of peak demand and fire emergencies. “Replacing the tank now with one that meets today’s stringent safety and structural standards will guarantee this vital component of our water supply infrastructure is in sound condition for decades to come.”
This summer PWWD will hold an additional community briefing meeting to review the detailed work schedule and construction mitigation measures. Physical construction work at the site will begin in late August. For more details on the Beacon Hill water tower project, and additional updates, visit our Current Projects page.