Many fronts in the war for clean water on LI

Originally published in Newsday

It would be easy to shrug off a recent report from the New York Public Interest Research Group that found that Long Island is the state region with the most emerging contaminants in its drinking water. We’ve known that for a while, after all; what’s the big deal? But there is great value in the reminder it provides to all Long Islanders that whatever we put into the ground ends up in the aquifer that provides the water we drink and in which we bathe.

The best-known examples come from our industrial legacy — like the 24 contaminants in the awful Bethpage plume. But many of us play a role with the fertilizers and pesticides we put on our lawns and spray in our yards, and the household chemicals some of us flush down our drains and into our cesspools and septic systems. The report reinforces the need for testing. Water suppliers do that regularly; owners of private wells must be as diligent.

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