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Jan 18, 2017 10:28 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Contamination Prompts Suffolk County Water Authority To Install New Mains In Westhampton Beach

The Westhampton Beach Village Board at its monthly meeting in January. BY ERIN MCKINLEY
Jan 18, 2017 11:39 AM

The Air National Guard at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton will pay for the installation of water mains throughout the Westhampton Beach, Westhampton and Quiogue areas to attach 11 homeowners and a business to the Suffolk County Water Authority system.

The move comes almost six months after chemicals were found in the groundwater flowing from the base on Old Riverhead Road. The water main connections will be an extension of existing pipes and will be funded entirely by the ANG, according to a letter submitted by the Suffolk County Water Authority to the Village of Westhampton Beach, though the letter did not specify how much the installation will cost.

The move is in response to the discovery of chemicals known as perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, in the groundwater. The ANG has taken responsibility for the contamination, which most likely stems from when the facility was used as a firefighter training location that routinely used fire suppressing foam—a product known for containing the potentially hazardous chemicals.

To date, Suffolk County has found the chemicals in eight private wells and in the groundwater, though it has been treated to nonhazardous levels in the water authority system. Those still on private wells have been encouraged to make the switch.

Last week, the Village Board unanimously voted to allow the water authority to extend the water main on Mickie’s Way to reach one of the affected homes. The main will need to pass through a village-owned property on the street to connect the homes, requiring village approval. Once the main is installed, the road will be repaired, according to the letter.

The locations of the other 10 residences and the business were not disclosed.

Village Mayor Maria Moore said the project will not cost village taxpayers any money and that it is possible other private homeowners will be asked to allow similar projects on their streets.

Officer Promoted

Westhampton Beach Village Police Officer Steven McManus has been promoted to detective. Detective McManus, who has worked in the village department since 2003, has been working in the detective office since September 2015.

The Village Board voted unanimously to make the appointment official last Thursday night. Det. McManus will earn $124,744 annually in his new role.

“I want to say thank you to the chief and the Village Board for promoting me,” Det. McManus said this week.

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