Drinking Water Status and Sustainability Presentation


The Beach to Bay Central Council of Civics bring a presentation on problems the Long Beach Barrier Island’s drinking water currently faces. 

Thursday, June 23,2016 7:30pm

Long Beach Public Library Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Almost 4 years ago, when we published our post “Long Beach Drinking Water Meeting“(https://makingmypoint.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/long-beach-drinking-water-meeting/) this issue was being noticed. 

At the time,  Assemblyman Weisenberg said this was “the most serious problem in the city’s history.” Two weeks later,  disaster in the form of Sandy struck, and there were more immediate items that we needed to attend to.  

Can you imagine, our only source of nearly-free drinking water is neither protected nor managed to assure it remains clean, safe, and available- even into the near future?  

Please attend to find out more. 

“Water Problem” article you should read.

 

water

A really good read.

Great article addressing mostly SURFACE issues. Click on the link below:

Long Island’s Water Problem

 

(yes, this article does appear in printed form!)

Unfortunately, the two outstanding groups leading the charge to me, seem to be divided on these grounds: surface and underground.

The “surface” / anti-pollution coalition is getting some things done because they are well funded and have 20+ years experience.  Its very easy to understand that pollution isn’t good.

The other group wants a comprehensive plan for all drinking water with plans that would keep costs of it to near zero.  Unfortunately, this will require legislation AND public support.  Some private corporations make their money by pumping water, not by managing the resource to make sure it is sustained.  The more they pump, the more they make. Hard to change.

Some people use a lot of water thinking if they can afford it, thats their right.  They’re not paying the costs to REPLACE what they take that you can no longer use, just the cost to deliver it.    Hard to change.

In our area, a broken sewage plant and runoff affects the bays on the surface.  In other areas it’s industrial pollution and in others it is nitrogen from septic tanks.

Uncontrolled overuse and overpavement of areas that blocks the replenishment of our supply from rainwater and causes pollutants and saltwater contamination to be pulled into our drinking water is our problem, below the surface.

Nassau County is generally ignoring it, and has been for 15+ years. Very easy to avoid raising taxes this way.

You don’t have to fix a problem you won’t acknowledge.

The only agreement: all will have to be dealt with, near- simultaneously, island-wide, to fix it.

The longer we wait, the harder it will be.

 

 

Suffolk County Executive Bellone just made this his #1 Priority, but its a huge undertaking. Kudos to him for acknowledging it.

Get some knowledge.  YOU will be part of the solution, whatever it is.

 

 

Citizens and Legislators seek Long Island drinking water compact.

Suffolk Legislator William R Spencer, Nassau Legislator Judi Bosworth and Kara Hahn of the Suffolk County Legislature speak with attendees

Suffolk Legislator William R Spencer, Nassau Legislator Judi Bosworth and Kara Hahn of the Suffolk County Legislature speak with attendees to Long Island Water Security Forum Pt 3

From the final of three meetings, this held at Cold Spring Harbor library, led by Suffolk Legislator William R Spencer and Nassau Legislator Judi Bosworth. They were also joined by Kara Hahn of the Suffolk County Legislature, New York Assemblyman-elect Chad Lupinacci, and Huntington Councilman Mark Mayoka.

 
The problem: The threats to what is our “Sole Source” of drinkable water are many. Over 65 entities deliver water on Long Island. Many water authorities, towns, villages and others are tapping the same resource with no one in charge- zero entities are making sure the entire supply is clean, preserved, protected and safe.
 
Ms. Bosworth said, it’s important that residents are aware of the difference between delivery and oversight. The NY state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has not resolved problems (even though most believe it is their mandate to do so-Ed) and they’re not a water manager. She said, “we do not have the active management system we need”
 
This being the third of these meetings and actually fourth if you include the one in Long Beach has this writer asking where are the other 2/3 or so Nassau and Suffolk legislators who have not shown up to ANY of these meetings?
 
New York Assemblyman-elect Chad Lupinacci,  and Huntington Councilman Mark Mayoka Listen to speakers at LI Water Security - Part 3 meeting at Cold Spring Harbor LibraryNew York Assemblyman-elect Chad Lupinacci,  and Huntington Councilman Mark Mayoka Listen to speakers at LI Water Security - Part 3 meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Library

New York Assemblyman-elect Chad Lupinacci, and Huntington Councilman Mark Mayoka Listen to speakers at LI Water Security – Part 3 meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Library

North Merrick Civic Association president Claudia Borecky spoke about Nassau County dumping 65 million gallons of sewage daily into the bay at their Bay Park plant. She called it the greatest environmental crime in our lifetime, demanding hearings. She explained the previous administration had approved a $500 million plan but upon taking over, County Executive Mangano, with help from Morgan Stanley, moved to sell the assets off.   “Essentially the county stole from our sewer budget”.
 
 
Aqua Vectors - explaining their new electrolysis system to drastically reduce Nitrates in water treatment

Aqua Vectors – explaining their new electrolysis system to drastically reduce Nitrates in water treatment

Mark Hopkinson spoke from Aqua Vectors. They have a new system to help treat nitrates in the sewage water making it much safer for discharge. They explained their system is actually cheaper than what’s being used and eliminates 2-3 times the amount of nitrates.
 
Sarah Meyland from NYIT/Water for Long Island explained it is not anyone’s agenda to consolidate the water companies. This is a completely seperate water management oversight issue.
 
Sarah Meyland Of New York Institute of Technology Center for Water Resources Management / Water for Long Island speaking at Long Island Water Security part 3 public hearing

Sarah Meyland Of New York Institute of Technology Center for Water Resources Management / Water for Long Island

 
She said “water management applies what we know to influence how the resource is used and outline steps that can be taken to protect, conserve and respond to water issues and problems.”   She and many of the other advocates believe we need a Long Island water “compact ” which would provide oversight and management needed.
 
“Compacts work because the stakeholders understand that they will benefit from the professional and equitable oversight and distribution of the water in the respective basin.  If Long Island created it’s own compact we would not be gaining another agency would be exchanging one agency- the DEC – for a full-service water management compact. .. under local control and oversight making us responsible for our own water future.”   
 
After, Members of the audience were invited to speak.
 
Our own Gerald Ottavino from the Point Lookout Civic Association said “We need a champion of the aquifers health, free of profit and politics, to manage the resource.”
 
One of my favorite speakers was Carolyn DuBois Of Oyster Bay Cove. She says she is amazed she only pays about $85 a year for water. “My water is so inexpensive- it’s not fair to pay so little to be encouraged to waste it.”  Yes, we agree. We are not paying what it costs to protect, preserve and RENEW (recharge) to assure we have clean drinking water tomorrow and in the future.
 
 
Hosts, Suffolk Legislator William R Spencer and Nassau Legislator Judi Bosworth at Long Island Water Securty Part 3-Public Hearing to find solutions.

Hosts, Suffolk Legislator William R Spencer and Nassau Legislator Judi Bosworth at Long Island Water Securty Part 3-Public Hearing to find solutions.

Judi Bosworth said to look at existing water Compacts to see what already works – “we don’t need to reinvent the wheel”.
 
William Spencer summed up the night: “we need bold solutions – this is not a Democrat or Republican issue… it is an issue for all of us.”

Water Security Public Hearing– Long Island’s Water Resources

we know so many are still too overwhelmed with issues from Sandy to deal with this. For anyone else interested, this is the last planned public…anything, on this issue.

LI Drinking Water meeting next week...

LI Drinking Water meeting next week…

The follow up to the Water Meeting From October… see our post Long Beach Drinking Water Meeting
You can see the science for yourself and come help discuss solutions to our shrinking drinking water supply.

This is extremely important for our local area, as early warning signs are showing potential problems with our local water for the future, and the island in general.

We need a common solution: one that manages, is responsible for and fights for protecting and preserving our water resources. They’re the only ones we’ve got!

October 2012 Civic Meeting

Community_Flag_of_Point_Lookout,_NYI know! You’ve gotta be pipelined (grapevined) in to know about these meetings sometimes, and when I got the email the day before, I was glad I could make it.

Candidates’ Night

Local politicians were invited to present their case for election for “Candidates Night”.  I’ll keep my commentary out of it, except as it pertains to local issues, virtually none of which were discussed.
For US Representative, we met Frank Scaturro and Fran Becker who are running against Carolyn McCarthy. This is new for us this year as our election district changed and Pete King no longer is in our district.
For NY Assemblyman were David Sussman and Harvey Weisenberg.
All presented their cases- virtually none talked local issues,  barring Harvey Weisenberg repeating, as previously reported here, the current drinking water issues in our district are his “number one priority”.

He said “the value of your house will be zero without drinking water”.

Rumor Mill

Gas station being cleaned up of any potential contamination, then getting new underground tanks.
NO Gas station for 5 more weeks (Thanksgiving time)!

Environmental Committee

Gerry Ottavino, who heads the Environmental Committee, spoke at length about the environmental issues facing our area and our town specifically. He said the only politicians helping are Harvey Weisenberg and Denise Ford (barely). He said it was “very disconcerting … with the exception of Denise Ford, no LI Republican has demonstrated ANY concern for our drinking water.”
Everyone in this town should know has worked tirelessly to highlight and solve local issues. These include-

  • Nassau dumping untreated wastewater into the bays
  • Nassau spilling untreated waste (which is also causing part of the excessive seaweed problem we are facing)
  • getting our dredging and revetment issues put forth and the pressure to get our representatives to act.

Gerry pointed out that the beach has lost sand to the point it looked like 5 years ago, at which time dredging was scheduled and was going to be done. Right now, no beach sand is to be added anytime soon. (Anyone know where get one of those floating chairs for next year?)

Establishment of Drinking Water Committee

In light of the recent drinking water issues, Gerry is also convening a separate Drinking Water Committee, for which members are needed. If you would like to be on this committee, please contact us and we will forward him your information.

Historical Society

Not for profit status being applied for. They are requesting any items of interest you may share.   You can check the current one out by clicking here–>

Point Lookout Historical Society

New “Communications Committee”

Patrick Algier and Arthur Boodhagian decided a more interactive and kept up-to-date website are in the works.

Special thanks to the residents who turned up and asked questions of the politicians as well as the Association leaders and Kelly Curtin who actually got them to show up.

Long Beach Drinking Water Meeting

Sarah J. Meyland from NYIT presents “What You Should Know About the Lloyd Aquifer”.

“This is the most serious problem in the city’s history”-  Harvey Weisenberg, Long Beach, NY  State Assemblyman.

After 23 years in the state assembly, 2 terms as Long Beach City Council President, 20 years teaching, and living in the area for 50+ years, that’s quite a number of other problems to comapre to.   He said he’s committed to working on the problem and his track record of commitment to, and delivering on our local issues is well known.

In an evening at the Long Beach Public Library brought to us by the League of Women Voters of Long Beach, Sarah J. Meyland, Director at NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) Center for Water Resource Management gave a cool, level headed, extremely informative presentation about our drinking water.

Easy for her to be calm- she doesnt live here, but she says the people that live here should be very concerned about the seriousness of the situation.   It’s very difficult to disagree.

We need a solution to protect and preserve our drinking water. Latest test results show serious danger signs. Many are not aware-we are already on our last resort water source here on Long Beach Barrier Island. 

NYS Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg

NYS Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg spoke briefly: saying “it’s the biggest problem the city has ever faced” may say it all.

The presentation was attended by a pretty well-packed room including NYS Rep Harvey Weisenberg, LB City Council President Len Torres, Council Member Fran Adelson, Point Lookout Civic leaders plus dozens of concerned citizens including LBHS students. Everyone seemed moved to action. City Council President Torres said the council is “definitely on board with joining the study”.  Unfortunately, it was pointed out that the current environmental committee members would have to forward that motion (none of whom attended??)  to start that process. We’re pretty sure we don’t need a study. There was a similar meeting like this last week presented By Nassau and Suffolk County Legislators (not our legislators down here on the south shore, mind you!), promoted by Sierra Club in New Hyde Park which you can find out about here: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/legis/LD/10/NewsRelease/2012/LD10Aquiferhearing.html

So what has happened?   The news isn’t pretty!

Long Beach and Atlantic Beach test wells show potential saltwater intrusion may be underway into Lloyd Aquifer -our “sole water resource” (that means THE ONLY PLACE WE CAN GET OUR DRINKING WATER), right below us at about 1500 feet down.

That would be a “game over” for drinking water here on the barrier beach.  There are no water pipelines from anywhere to here, no way to start cisterns and other catchment because a few feet down in our ground is salt water, so there’s nowhere to store catchment. 

These test wells were installed to give us “several years warning” of saltwater intrusion (chloride that makes it undrinkable) into the aquifer. The recent results show Atlantic Beach and Long Beach warning us RIGHT NOW!  Recent chloride tests showed:

42 ppm-Atlantic Beach

110 ppm-Long Beach “central” test well at Laurelton

15 ppm -East Long Beach

18 ppm – Jones Beach

6 ppm -Tobay Beach

This may mean that salt water is forming a plume into the fresh water,  centered on central Long Beach.

Although drinking water standards are 250 ppm, any increase is a major warning because intrusions are not gradual. The seperation between where it is all fresh water and where that becomes all salt water is very thin. There is no wide area where salt to fresh water ratios go up gradually.  If you start seeing higher numbers, YOU ARE VERY LIKELY IN THE INTRUSION NOW.

The problem is: Pumping too much water without replenishment will cause a draw of salt water inland, eventually past the point from where we can pump our drinking water.

LONG BEACH ISLAND RESIDENTS From Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Lido Beach, and Point Lookout Need to take action NOW!

Call and ask your Long Beach, Town of Hempstead, Nassau, and New York state representatives to get involved.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

guess what… no one’s in charge of managing the aquifer resources.  whoever pumps, gets.  thats the job the water companies are supposed to do- they are not responsible for monitoring, conservation, management, protection…Nothing!

Although they do realize that these are in their best interests, and they have put up the money Nassau County rescinded for these purposes…for 2012 year only, and thousands of dollars short-but hey-it’s not their job the way the laws stand, so we need to get together with them, too.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has the mandate to be in charge, but the control of the Lloyd Aquifer was taken away from them over 25 years ago because they

  • had no management plan
  • no oversight plan
  • no monitoring

and no one still does to this day.     No one even knows how much is safe to be pumping out, although by old Nassau County Estimates, we are at least 25-30% above previously discussed “safe” levels.

What is safe to say is that if we are pumping out 9% of all the water on Long Island, but the aquifer only gets 3% of the recharge water, we are beyond sustainability.  The aquifer is going to absorb from where it’s easiest, and that’s the heavier salt water pushing in, not the filtered recharge that should be coming from rainwater above.

Where do we go from here?   Ms. Meyland says we should look to other areas and how they have protected their drinking water: like the Delaware River (covering at least 4 states), Hudson River, and virtually all over the US:

Water Compacts.   A water compact is grouping of people all involved in the same water resource. It would

  • decide how much water is available
  • protect ecosystems that feed the aquifers
  • allocate it
  • have input on regulations over things that impact the water supply
  • oversee  / permit  withdrawls
  • prepare maps of water quality and the like
  • develop  and implement long range plan
  • investigate and recommend solutions to sewage and septic issues
  • conduct and publish studies
  • utilize island-wide models to monitor aquifers

Like to get fresh water at your house?  Then YOUR involvement will be needed.  If you were at this meeting, please contact us.

Coming soon, we will be posting a litttle more on the science involved to help get the word out so everyone can act with the most accurate information and understanding of the situation.

Please take a minute to share this information on any of the buttons below with everyone you know, especially on the South Shore. Other water districts in between are or will be impacted too, and it’s being decided on that NYC will also be tapping our water resources again -that’s you Valley Stream etc.!