The state of New York is devoted to providing its citizens with safe drinking water, and Suffolk County is no exception. The Office of Water Resources is responsible for enforcing regulations that control the quality of public water supplies in the county. This includes testing for a wide range of potential contaminants and developing analytical methodologies to detect any unregulated contaminants in the groundwater. In areas without a public water supply system, extensive water quality testing is conducted in all proposed new real estate subdivisions with private wells.
The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the New York State and Suffolk County Sanitary Codes grant the Office of Water Resources the authority to guarantee that all community and non-community water supplies meet the necessary standards. The Drinking Water Quality Council (DWQC) was established by the New York State Public Health Act to provide recommendations to the Department of Health on emerging contaminants in drinking water. Suffolk County drinking water sources are tested for many chemicals years before federal or state regulations require such oversight. The findings of the Suffolk County Water Assessment Program (SWAP) will be used to update the Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan. Individual, on-site private wells provide water to approximately 50,000 seasonal and year-round homes in Suffolk County. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the SDWA by continuing to own and operate prohibited LCC and MVWDW in several Suffolk County parks and facilities for years after the SDWA regulatory deadline. No government agency in New York State offers a similar level of commitment to private well water quality as Suffolk County.
The office has been at the forefront at the national level regarding the problems of new and emerging contaminants in drinking water. With stringent regulations and regular testing, Suffolk County is dedicated to ensuring that its citizens have access to safe drinking water.