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Sep 17, 2019 2:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

County To Test Water Wells In Area Around East Hampton Landfill For Signs of Contamination

Suffolk County will begin testing private water wells in the neighborhoods surrounding the East Hapton Town landfill and Springs-Fireplace Road commercial corridor because of concerns about potential groundwater contamination from the former landfill and from composting operations at the recycling center and other properties in the area.
Sep 17, 2019 4:04 PM

The Suffolk County Department of Health will test private drinking water wells in the neighborhoods surrounding the Springs-Fireplace Road commercial corridor in Springs and northern East Hampton.

The county announced on Monday that it would conduct the testing as a precautionary measure — not because of any evidence of contamination — spurred by findings of water contamination at other composting sites, like the Sand Land mine in Noyac.

The testing will focus on the areas surrounding the former East Hampton Town landfill and properties with ongoing composting operations, including at the town’s recycling center, because such properties have been found to cause elevated levels of iron, manganese and other compounds that can cause health concerns in drinking water.

“Since private wells are not routinely tested, the Health Department would like to sample individual private wells in this area due to the proximity of potential sources of groundwater contamination, including vegetative organic waste management operations, as well as the East Hampton landfill,” a statement from County Department of Health spokeswoman Grace Kelly-McGovern said.

The statement continued: “Groundwater monitoring at other vegetative organic waste management operations has found elevated concentrations of iron and manganese above drinking water standards. Also, chlorinated solvents have been detected above groundwater standards in some on-site groundwater monitoring wells at the landfill. This private well survey is being conducted out of an abundance of caution.”

Homeowners in the survey area will be contacted by the county over the next three months. People living in the survey area can contact the County Health Department at 631-852-5810 or the East Hampton Town supervisor’s office at 631-324-4140 to request that their wells be tested.

East Hampton Town has had a water quality monitoring plan in place since the landfill was capped in 1997. An initial plume of contaminants emanating from the property has diminished steadily in the years since, Mr. Van Scoyoc said, though he acknowledged that some of the samplings have intermittently shown elevated levels of contaminants within the town property itself. Perimeter and off-site monitoring wells have not registered any levels of contamination above health thresholds in several years.

Mr. Van Scoyoc said the town is supportive of the county’s water testing initiative.

“We think safe drinking water is of the utmost importance to everyone and it’s a concerning issue given what we have seen from other sites,” he said. “We have been doing monitoring at the landfill for 22 years and we are fully in favor of the county doing this additional testing.”

MICHAEL WRIGHT

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