Featured Story

Riverhead water district eyes $7M in improvements this year

Riverhead’s Water District is due for nearly $7 million in new projects in 2019, $3 million of which will come from a state grant.

Tom Kruger, the assistant water district superintendent, and engineer John Collins from H2M, an engineering consulting firm, outlined the district’s priority items at last Thursday’s Town Board work session.

In October, the Town Board unveiled a list of 18 water district priority projects, beginning in 2018 and running through 2019.

The estimated cost of the 18 projects is $23.6 million. Three projects were started last year.

Top priority for this year is the installation of a new “well 2,” located at Pulaski Street and Columbus Avenue. The existing well has high levels of iron and manganese, which occur naturally in groundwater but have been detected at high levels at well 2, which was first drilled in 1950.

The plan is to drill a new well, to be called well 2A, which would be about 300 feet deep, twice the 150-foot depth of the current well.

“We want to drive down deeper to get away from the iron,” Mr. Collins said.

The estimated cost of the installation of plant 2A and the plant rehabilitation is $1.489 million.

The rehabilitation of plant 4 is the next highest priority, at $1.1 million. Plant 4, on Osborn Avenue, needs a new roof, a new electric service and a new lime tank for pH control.

“A catastrophic failure of this (lime) tank would deny the district the ability to adjust he pH of raw rain water, thus putting them in violation and requiring a shut down of both wells” on the site, a water district memo states.

The third priority, at $724,000, is a new test well program.

In 2017, the water district and the U.S. Geological Survey entered into an agreement to initiate a program to help identify and map the saltwater-freshwater interface beneath the town, in order to help identify potential locations for new supply wells.

The town will install four 700-foot deep monitoring wells as part of that project, which will drop a probe that will help the town to better locate new supply wells, according to Mr. Collins.

A few years ago, the town had to take one well offline because of high chloride levels that weren’t initially detected.

One project that wasn’t planned until 2022 but will be moved up to this year is a manganese filtration system, at an estimated cost of $3.6 million.

A $3 million state grant received in November allowed that project to begin sooner, officials said.

[email protected]