Hicksville Water District hosts meetings to update community on upgrades
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies 1,4-dioxane “as likely to be carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure” and is relatively resistant to biodegradation when it seeps into the water table. To that end, the Hicksville Water District (HWD) recently announced the completion of its first 1,4-dioxane treatment system, the Trojan UV Flex advanced oxidation process (AOP), which is currently online and producing water that is non detect of the man-made compound. The completed system at the district’s Plant #4 has been put into operation after months of construction came to a close as well as receiving approvals by the State and Nassau County Health Departments after a lengthy and rigorous review process.
OP treatment, when coupled with granular activated carbon (GAC), is the only proven method to rid the water supply of 1,4-dioxane. This treatment combination is also capable of removing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), should detections of these contaminants ever near the State’s new maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). AOP treatment works by mixing an oxidant, in this case hydrogen peroxide, with water and running it through ultraviolet light. This makes a chemical reaction that destroys the 1,4-dioxane molecules. The water then runs through the GAC filters which removes any remaining hydrogen peroxide and impurities prior to entering the public distribution system.
“We are very proud to have our first AOP treatment system come online and produce water for our residents that is non detect of 1,4-dioxane,” said HWD Chairman William Schuckmann. “For more than two years, when discussions about treating for 1,4-dioxane first started, we have been working tirelessly towards this goal. While this is a major milestone for the district and our community, we cannot take our foot off the gas as we still have more of these expensive treatment systems to complete at other impacted well sites in our district.”
On July 30, 2020, the New York State Health Department finalized regulations establishing MCLs for 1,4-dioxane at 1 part per billion (ppb) and for PFOA and PFOS at 10 parts per trillion (ppt). While PFOA and PFOS are not a concern of the district’s at this point in time as any detection at this time is below the state’s MCL, 1,4-dioxane is present at 10 of the district’s 14 well sites above or nearing the state’s MCL.
To make the capital improvements necessary to install AOP treatment at each of these well sites, the district will have to invest more than $70 million.
Public understanding is the next step and to that end, the HWD is hosting a series of virtual community meetings to help bring residents up to speed on the progress made to treat the local water supply for 1,4-dioxane. Two digital meeting opportunities have been scheduled—Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 1 p.m.—where residents will get a detailed presentation about the significant infrastructure improvements already made, as well as what can be expected for the coming months. Rather than the traditional in-person meeting, having the meetings held remotely will allow all residents to participate while also remaining safe.
Residents wishing to participate in one or both of the virtual meetings are required to pre-register. Visit https://hicksvillewater.org/virtual-community-meetings/ to register to attend the meeting. Visit www.hicksvillewater.org/dioxane to learn more about 1,4-dioxane and the steps the district is taking to combat it. For more information on the Hicksville Water District, visit www.hicksvillewater.org or add the district at facebook.com/HicksvilleWaterDistrict on Facebook.