Help arrives for Manorville residents in need of clean water with $2 million federal grant

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a $2 million grant to help provide public water to Manorville residents whose property is plagued by contaminated drinking water, according to Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

Riverhead’s Congressional delegation of senators Charles Schumer (D) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and outgoing Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), notified the town that their efforts were successful in securing an additional $2 million in federal funding to provide pure and clean water to residents in Riverhead. 

Last year, the same delegation secured $3.5 million in federal funding for public water improvements in Riverhead, of which nearly $2.3 million went to the affected Manorville residents and $1.2 million to address contaminated wells to residents living on River Road. 

Officials have said it will take far more funding to bring public water to the contaminated areas of Calverton and Manoville in both Riverhead and Brookhaven towns. 

Some wells have tested positive for many contaminants, including Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)/ Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate (PFOA) in excess of EPA limits. These substances were developed in the 1940s and 1950s, and commonly used in firefighting foams officials said.

The funds were applied for by the town’s Community Development Department through Congressionally Directed Spending, officials said. 

“Riverhead’s efforts to address the important need to provide clean and safe water to our residents was once again supported by our federal public officials at the behest of the entire Riverhead Town Board and with strong public support,” Ms. Aguiar said in a press release. 

“The Town of Riverhead will continue to seek further funding to ensure we are able to move this effort forward as quickly as possible. Without any exception, the entire Town Board remains fully committed to finding the best possible solutions to address the health and safety of all our residents and it is my hope we will continue to work cooperatively with Suffolk County Water Authority, and, of course, our federal, state and county partners towards this mutual goal,” Ms. Aguiar said. “I have scheduled an in-person meeting with Congressman-elect Nick LaLota to brief him on this critical, mutual concern.”