Southampton Town officials doubt landfill is source of groundwater contamination

Southampton Town officials said last week that they are unconvinced a former town landfill in East Quogue — a site where perfluorinated compounds were detected in the groundwater last spring at record levels for Long Island — is the source of drinking water contamination in the area.
The compounds, which were used in fire suppression foam and other products, have been detected by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in 45 private wells near the long-closed landfill, on Damascus Road near Lewis Road.
“I’m not convinced this is even a contributing site,” Schneiderman said during a conference call at the work session with a Bayside, Queens-based geologist whom the town hired to resample state data and outline possible contamination sources.
The geologist’s report, which was discussed at the work session, found PFOS levels at 4,050 parts per trillion at a well downgradient of the landfill, meaning the sampled water flowed off the property.
Schneiderman pointed to the detection of PFOS and PFOA in a monitoring well on the east side of the airport property in October as a possible link to the East Quogue contamination.
The system would have to be extended to offer service to 106 additional properties at a cost of $1.3 million, said Water Authority CEO Jeff Szabo.
Residents would then have to pay to connect to the mains, though Schneiderman said he would consider a proposal where the town lays out that money, which can be thousands of dollars per household, and recoups the cost through those homeowners’ tax bills.
Meanwhile, Lewis Road area residents remain anxious and question how soon public water could reach the area.
“I think everyone should be connected to public water.” Lucille Morreale, 73, and her husband Robert, 76, who live on Lewis Road, said they are drinking and cooking with bottled water despite a detection of less than 4 parts per trillion of PFOA and no PFOS in their well.
They still shower with well water for lack of another option, the couple said.

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