Water Quality Advisory for Westhampton’s Private Well Owners: Suffolk County Department of Health

If you live in the Westhampton Beach area and have a private well, you need to read this.



WESTHAMPTON, NY — The Suffolk County Department of Health Service has issued a water quality advisory for private well owners in some areas of Westhampton.

According to Suffolk County Department of Health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has identified two chemicals, PFOS, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid, as emerging contaminants.

The chemicals, release said, are part of a class of chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, which are currently unregulated by the federal government.

PFCs 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, the Suffolk County Department of Health said.

Individuals may therefore be exposed to PFOS and PFOA through air, water, or soil from industrial sources and from consumer products.

In 2013, major water supply companies began testing their wells for PFOS and PFOA. Results of that monitoring have recently become available.

‘In the absence of federal regulation, New York State took aggressive action ‎and became the first state in nation to regulate PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances, which enables the state to use the legal authority and financial resources of the State Superfund Program to clean up contaminated sites,” the release said.

Through monitoring conducted under an EPA program known as the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, PFOS was detected in public supply wells in the vicinity of the New York State Air National GuardBase at Gabreski Airport located at Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton Beach.

“The results of this sampling have already been reported to residents in the annual water quality report and to the US EPA,” the release said. “Measures have been taken to address the public water supply.”

Currently, the public drinking water supply in the area is below the current EPA lifetime health advisory level of 0.07 ppb, the release said.

EPA’s health advisory levels are established to protect even the most sensitive populations, including fetuses during pregnancy and breastfed babies, against adverse health effects, the release said.

Moving forward, to assess the drinking water quality of properties served with private wells, the Suffolk County Department of Health Service will be conducting a private well survey in the Gabreski area.

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