Officials from the town of Riverhead and the Suffolk County Water Authority said they had agreed in principle to work together to bring clean water to the homes of dozens of residents in the Manorville section of town whose private wells contained toxins.
Officials from both sides said in a press release on Tuesday that they had met on Monday and felt “optimistic” about their ability to work together to connect 64 homes in Riverhead to public water as soon as possible.
“There are a lot of legal elements that need to be addressed in terms of size and cost, but we have agreed to find an agreement and we hope that they will keep their word and that we can get things done as quickly as possible, Riverhead supervisor Yvette Aguiar told Newsday in an interview on Wednesday.
The Suffolk County Health Department in 2020 found traces of perfluorinated compounds – which have been linked to reproductive, endocrine and other health effects – in nearly 15% of the private water wells they have. tested near the former Grumman Naval Weapons Facility at Calverton. About 124 homes in the towns of Riverhead and Brookhaven were affected.
Water authority CEO Jeff Szabo told Newsday on May 10 that the meetings were “productive and informative for both parties.” A proposal is expected to be drafted in the coming weeks and will be sent to the city outlining how the deal could move forward, Szabo said.
“Essentially, we plan to provide Riverhead with the water they need so they can extend the water main to the affected area,” Szabo said.
Under the potential arrangement, which officials from both sides said was discussed in the ‘outline’, the water authority would supply and meter drinking water to residents of the affected Riverhead area. and would install approximately 3,000 feet of water pipe and serve those residents of its City would pay the water board for the work, but the residents would be considered customers of the Riverhead Water District.
Aguiar said the city insisted that residents be part of its water district during preliminary discussions.
While the press release says there are still some issues to be worked out for a deal to be finalized, Szabo said he preferred not to discuss details at this time as talks are ongoing.
Aguiar said a letter of agreement could be in place as soon as the next two weeks. However, Aguiar added, the city has yet to discuss where the funds for the project will come from, as well as implementation plans, a cost analysis plan and other details.