West Hempstead Water District receives $3.9M grant

Nakeem Grant for Long Island Herald

June 03, 2021

Originally published in Long Island Herald on June 03, 2021.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced a $3.9 million grant for the West Hempstead Water District. The money will be used to design and construct a new treatment process at the water plant to mitigate 1,4-dioxane and other emerging contaminants from the water.

The $3.9 million is part of a $5 billion investment in clean drinking water infrastructure from New York state. In 2019, West Hempstead Water District’s 7th Street facility in Garden City South installed two wells.

In addition, the water district installed a hydrogen peroxide tank to remove its low level of 1,4-dioxane.

“Unfortunately, 1,4-dioxane is not easily removed from water,” West Hempstead Water District Superintendent Jason Belle told the Herald in a previous story. “Typical methods, whether it be filtration or anything like that, doesn’t remove it, so we had to come up with what they call the advanced oxidation process.”

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky helped to foster this funding stream dating back to his time as Ranking Member of the Environmental Conservation Committee in 2017. Kaminsky said that getting the funding to local communities and ensuring clean water on Long Island is a top priority for him.

“This critical investment in our water infrastructure is essential to ensuring that our water is free of 1,4-dioxane and other dangerous chemicals,” Kaminsky said in a news release.

Dioxane is a synthetic industrial chemical that is found in personal care products, such as Tide detergent, which contains more than 50,000 parts per billion of the potential carcinogen. It has been discovered in more than 70 percent of Long Island’s supply wells since 2013.

“As the science behind emerging contaminants improves, it is imperative that we treat the water at its source. This $3.9 million grant will help protect the public, and I was proud to help secure the funding in the state budget. Our community deserves pristine water — nothing less will suffice.”