Riverhead Town will receive a $3.5 million in federal grant money to provide public water to Manorville residents plagued by contaminated private drinking water wells.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) notified Riverhead officials that he had secured the $3.5 million needed to provide clean water to 60 homes in Manorville within in the Town of Riverhead.
The federal government also is allocating a similar amount to communities living south of the former Navy/Grumman site in Calverton, bringing the total amount to $7 million to hook up a total of 128 homes to public water.
These homes currently have polluted private wells, according to Riverhead town. The homes within the Brookhaven Town portion of Calverton are served by the Suffolk County Water Authority.
“The Town of Riverhead’s efforts to address the need to provide clean and pure water to our residents was supported by many public officials, the entire Riverhead Town Board and with strong public support. As a result, Senator Schumer was able to successfully advocate on our behalf,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said in a press release. “The Senate Appropriations committee designated $3.5 million directed solely to provide clean and pure water from the Riverhead Water District to these residents.”
Ms. Aguiar said that Dawn Thomas, the town’s Community Development Agency director was instrumental in securing the funding.
The total cost to the town will be about $11 million, Ms. Aguiar said. She said the goal is for effected residents to not have to pay any of the costs to connect the water mains to their homes. It was unclear how long the job would take.
Many of the wells have tested positive for contaminants including Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and Perfluoralkyl Carboxylate (PFOA) in excess of NYS limits, officials said. These substances were developed in the 1940s and 1950s and commonly used in firefighting foams.
“I appreciate the efforts of the Senator Schumer for securing the funds to continue addressing this important public safety issue,” Ms. Aguiar said. She also thanked Rep. Lee Zeldin, (R-Shirley), State Assemblywomen Jodi Giglio (R-Baiting Hollow), Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) and the entire Town Board, “who all have rigorously petitioned their support in Washington.”
“This is a great clean water victory,” said Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, which worked with homeowners, in a press release. “This community worked hard to come together, fight together and now have succeeded together. Nothing could mean more to a community then clean, safe drinking water. Turning on your tap should never invoke fear of getting sick. “