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Water Quality Advisory for Private Well Owners

Categories: Health Services | Author: gknutson | Posted: 5/11/2018 | Views: 2016


Water Quality Advisory for Private Well Owners  




The Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced today that it is expanding a private well survey in the area described below in order to assess the quality of the drinking water supplied by those private wells. 


PFOS and PFOA have been detected above the USEPA Health Advisory Level (70 ppt) in some drinking water supplies that have been sampled in the area.  USEPA’s Health Advisory Levels are established to protect even the most sensitive populations, including fetuses during pregnancy and breastfed babies, against potential adverse health effects from exposure to contaminants in drinking water. A public water supply well located on Church Street in Bohemia had detections of PFOS above the health advisory.  However, the water from this well was being treated already and sampling demonstrated that the treated water being distributed to customers did not have detections of PFOS.  PFOS and PFOA have been detected above the health advisory level in two private wells that were sampled by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS).


The NYSDEC will oversee the investigation of potential source(s) of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), contaminants that are associated with aqueous film forming foam used for firefighting purposes and rapidly work to remediate those sources once identified.   


PFOS and PFOA are part of a class of chemicals known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances).  PFAS have been used in a number of industrial and commercial products such as firefighting foam, as well as coatings that repel water, oil, stains and grease.  Thus, people may be exposed to PFOS and PFOA through air, water, or soil from industrial sources and from consumer products. 


 The SCDHS would like to sample all private wells in this area at no charge to homeowners. Residents whose property is served by a private well and is located in the area bounded on the north by Peconic Street and the Long Island Railroad, on the west by Louis Kossuth Avenue, Sycamore Avenue and Pond Road, on the east by Lincoln Avenue, Veterans Memorial Highway and San Souci Lakes and south to the Great South Bay are advised to contact the SCDHS Office of Water Resources at 631-852-5810 to have their wells tested (see attached map). The laboratory analysis for PFAS will be conducted by a private laboratory contracted by the DEC. 


The New York State Department of Health has indicated that consumption (drinking or cooking) is the primary exposure concern for PFAS in drinking water.  Bathing and showering are not expected to be a concern even if PFAS are present in the water supply. Out of an abundance of caution, the NYSDEC is providing bottled water to property owners in the private well survey area described above, pending private well testing results.  If you use a private well for drinking or cooking purposes and live in the survey area, supplies of free bottled water will be available for pick up at the Bohemia Recreation Center, 1 Ruzicka Way, Bohemia 11716, daily from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Homes connected to a public water supply do not need to have their water tested as the public water supplied to the area does not exceed the USEPA Health Advisory Level and these supplies are routinely tested. 


Residents with general questions about health effects of PFAS are advised to call the New York State Department of Health at 518-402-7950 Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Residents who are unsure if they are served by public water may call the Suffolk County Water Authority at 631-698-9500.


Residents with private wells who have questions about private well water in Suffolk County or who wish to have their wells tested may contact the SCDHS Office of Water Resources at 631-852-5810.


For additional information about PFAS, please visit the SCDHS website at:


For more information on perfluorinated compounds, see USEPA Fact Sheet: PFOA & PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories.

Private Well Survey Area.pdf

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