Roslyn Water District approves $33 million bond, project

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The Roslyn Water District has approved a $32 million bond proposal, and has calculated the worst-case scenario impact for residents. (Photo courtesy of Roslyn Water District)

The Roslyn Water District has resolved to move forward a $33 million bond to refurbish its water wellheads, oil tanks and a generator to protect from contaminants including 1,4-dioxane, perflourooctanoic acid, and perflourooctanesulfonic acid, to be funded by a bond.

The district’s 5.1 square mile service territory encompasses the villages of Roslyn, Roslyn Estates, and East Hills, as well as portions of Roslyn Heights, Roslyn Harbor, Flower Hill, North Hills, Greenvale, Albertson, Glenwood Landing, and Port Washington, with a customer base numbering over 5,780.

A pair of information sessions were held by the district on Jan. 12, where the project’s lead engineer Jeff Czajka, senior vice president at Melville-based H2M Architects + Engineers, discussed the project’s aspects, including refurbishing the wells to employ the Advanced Oxidation Process to remove 1,4 dioxane and Granular Activated Carbon adsorption to remove PFOA and PFOS.

“To date, no Roslyn Water District well has had a detection [of 1,4 dioxane] over the New York State Department of Health’s maximum contaminant level, one part per billion,” Czajka said. “But we do have some that are approaching that limit.”

He added that PFOA and PFOS were manmade chemicals that have entered the water supply due to “decades of abuse in industrial manufacturing and household goods,” and that while none of the district’s wells had detections above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion, they had seen low levels of both chemicals detected from wells throughout the district.

According to the district, AOP treatments in wellheads at Plant No. 4 and Plant No. 8 will cost $8,148,480 and $3,816,200, respectively; and GAC treatment at Plant No. 5 will cost $4,974,500.

Fuel oil tank replacements at Plant No. 1, Plant No. 5 and Plant No. 6 will cost $325,389, $198,708, and $149,700, respectively. Finally, the installation of a new 300k generator at Plant No. 3 is estimated to be $655,750.

Various other potential additional improvements, including implementation of AOP, PFAS, VOC, and nitrate treatment at various other wells in the district; plus water main and distribution system upgrades; are accounted for as well, with a $15 million budget, bringing the entire cost of the plan to $33,268,727.

“Clearly, the district does not believe that the residents would have to bear the entire financial burden for this treatment as they are not the ones responsible for the contamination,” Czajka said.

He added that the district had filed lawsuits to hold those responsible for the presence of emerging contaminants in our water supply financially accountable, with it later revealed at the Jan. 14 meeting that one such lawsuit was against the 3M Company. The district would also be applying for grants, he said, including a “likely” $4.5 million in grant funding from New York State.

“Any grant money awarded or awards from successful litigation will be used to reduce the amount of borrowing against the bond,” Czajka said.

The district also unveiled a “worst-case scenario” cost impact to residents based on being unsuccessful in the legal action and unable to obtain the grants.

Following a hearing on Jan. 14, the district’s commissioners moved to go to bond on the project.

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