New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York
State Department of Health (DOH) are evaluating various sites, including
inactive landfills, throughout New York State for potential impacts to drinking
water supplies with a focus on potential impacts from emerging contaminants,
such as PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid),
which are currently unregulated by the federal government. This project was
launched through Governor Cuomo’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team.
former Damascus Road landfill, located at the end of Damascus Road, in East
Quogue, NY is currently being evaluated under this initiative for potential
impacts on drinking water supplies. For the preliminary phase of the
investigation, monitoring wells were installed at the site and sampled by the
State. Results indicated that combined PFOS and PFOA exceeded USEPA
Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) in groundwater at one of
the monitoring wells, with a combined PFOS and PFOA concentration of
11,620 ppt observed. Based on these results, additional investigations of
private drinking water supply wells in the area are needed to ensure the public
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 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
USEPA Health Advisory Level for drinking water (70 ppt) is provided for
comparison purposes, as these PFOS and PFOA results are from monitoring wells
as opposed to drinking water supplies. 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.
assess the drinking water quality of properties served with private wells,
Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) has begun a private well
survey in the vicinity of the former Damascus Road landfill. 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 the Woodleigh Place and Damascus Road, on the west by
Quogue Riverhead Road and Heatherwood Lane, on the east by Lewis Road and
Walker Avenue and south continuing to the Shinnecock Bay and its tributaries
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.
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, bottled water is being
made available through the Town of Southampton directly 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 bottled water will be available to you at
no cost by calling Southampton Town Hall at 631-283-6055 or 631-287-5745.
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.
with general questions about health effects of PFAS are advised to call the New
York State Water Quality Hotline: 800-801-8092, Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. -
who are unsure if they are served by public water may call the Suffolk County
Water Authority at 631-698-9500.
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.
additional information about PFAS, please visit the SCDHS website at: www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health/pfcwaterinfo.
more information on perfluorinated compounds, see USEPA Fact Sheet:
PFOA & PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories.