The $19.5 million water treatment facility will target emerging contaminants in Bethpage drinking water
The Bethpage, N.Y., Water District has begun construction on a $19.5 million water treatment facility designed to remove emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane from drinking water. The new treatment plant is expected to open by late 2020 and will target volatile organic compounds stemming from a groundwater pollution plume.
According to Newsday, the water district expects the U.S. Navy to provide $15 million in funds for the treatment of volatile organic contaminants, but not the $4.5 million needed for the unregulated 1,4-dioxane contamination. While the water district hopes to receive the remaining funding from parties responsible for the groundwater pollution, including Northrop Grumman and the Navy, they are adamant that the project must go forward regardless.
“We can try to pass the cost on the responsible party, but, either way, the district has never waited,” said District Superintendent Mike Boufis. “Even through fights behind closed doors with the polluters, we do what’s best for the community.”
The site was contaminated by airplane and space exploration research, testing and manufacturing at Navy and Northrop Grumman sites beginning in the 1930s and lasting until the 1990s. It was added to the state Superfund list in 1983 and several cleanup efforts are currently underway. Experts say that the toxic groundwater plume is 4 miles long, nearly 2 miles wide and moving southeast about 1 ft per day, reports News 12 Long Island.
According to the water district, the water treatment plant will remove existing outdated infrastructure and install two new air stripping units outfitted with carbon filtration systems and a new clear well that will have up to five times the capacity of existing systems.