After state lawmakers approved legislation allowing municipalities to use money from the Community Preservation Fund for water quality improvement projects — such as providing access to public water in response to groundwater contamination — the Southampton Town Board gave the green light for $4 million to be used to fund a partnership with Suffolk County Water Authority to provide 10,000 feet of public water main extensions along public roads in East Quogue.
Issues arose last year when high levels of toxic perfluorinated chemicals were found in several private drinking wells. The number of affected households has continued to climb from 45 to 70 of the 130 tested. While no source of contamination has been found, a former town landfill located at the end of Damascus Road in East Quogue, and a county-owned former police kennel facility located in the eastern part of Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, have contributed to groundwater pollution, according to reports from both the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
Health effects associated with the chemicals include liver damage, decreased fertility, developmental delays in fetuses and children, and possibly cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Levels at Demascus Road following a February 2018 test were found to be 150 times the federal health advisory limit. The testing was conducted as part of a broader state investigation into how pollution from closed landfills affects groundwater.
Those eligible for hookup are bounded on the north by Lewis Road and the Gabreski Airport; on the west by Quogue Riverhead Road, Whippoorwill Lane, and Peacock Path; on the south by Bluejay Way, Woodleigh Place, Sachem Lane, and Damascus Road; and on the east by Lewis Road.
The town, which can use 20 percent of the previous year’s Community Preservation Fund revenues for water quality improvement projects, will also be providing rebates to those looking to hook up to the water mains. Southampton applied for a New York State water quality improvement grant, which would cover 60 percent, or $1.2 million, of the total $2 million-cost for water main extensions, and surcharges and associated tapping fees.