Two contaminated drinking wells in Hampton Bays are back on line after being closed a year ago, and a third will be back in action within days.
According to a spokesman at the Hampton Bays Water District, the chemicals perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid detected in 2016 are down to minuscular levels after apparently being filtered out: a $1 million carbon filtration system was installed and is still being used on the wells.
The New York State Health Department said the third well would be open by week’s end.
Six monitoring wells were installed last year between June and August 2016 in the vicinity of Hampton Bays Water District’s Plant Number 1. “The SCDHS initiated the installation of these wells in response to polyfluoroalkyl substances detections at the Hampton Bays Water District’s Plant Number 1 in order to help identify potential source(s) of these contaminants,” said Grace Kelly-McGovern, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
PFCs were detected in five of the six monitoring wells that were sampled. One well had concentrations of PFOS/PFOA above the Environmental Protection Agency’s Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion (with a maximum concentration of about 110 ppt) while the other four wells had detections of PFOS/PFOA below the HAL. Results for the sixth well are pending from the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth laboratory. Last week, the levels were down significantly.
Once all three are operational, water pressure should return to normal, according to the HBWD.
In what HBWD officials say is an unrelated matter, water discoloration in a Ponquogue Avenue neighborhood is gradually improving. HBWD Superintendent Robert King said the Ponquogue Avenue water district is flushing the hamlet’s downtown fire hydrants every morning, until rust, the suspected source of the discoloration, clears up.
Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman reiterated that the downtown problem was not connected to the original PFOA or PFOS contamination.