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Officials lift boil-water alert in East Farmingdale

A precautionary boil-water alert that affected nearly 3,000 customers in the East Farmingdale Water District, including the campus of Farmingdale State College, was lifted just before 1 p.m., officials said.

"We just got the results back," water district superintendent George Veilson said. "Everything's fine."

Those results were of a water-quality test conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Health, which tested water in the district after the brutal weekend storm knocked out power to the plant - shutting down the system and causing a backflow situation, which can lead to possible contamination. Veilson said the water was not contaminated.

The New York State sanitary code requires a boil-water alert be sent out as a precautionary measure.

The alert covered about 2,800 water district customers, Veilson said, half of them residential and half commercial - most along the Route 110 corridor between Southern State Parkway and Huntington.

The trouble began when power went out at 2 a.m. Sunday, Veilson said. The outage, coupled with a draw by the backup fire prevention system at one of the district's largest customers, P.C. Richard & Son, caused water pressure to drop below 20 pounds per square inch, Veilson said.

That can cause a backflow situation, where outside water can back into the system - contaminating clean water.

Veilson said that did not occur. However, state law mandates the water be tested and that the water district send an alert to customers.

One of those customers was Farmingdale State College.

"We sent out an e-mail [Sunday night] . . . advising the campus that we didn't expect the water to be potable until Tuesday," school spokeswoman Kathy Coley said.

She said officials also sent out an alert on the SUNY messaging system, placed signs on campus and even posted an alert on the school Facebook page. "The system worked pretty much as well as expected," she said. Moments later, Coley said the school had received word the alert had been lifted - and water was safe to drink.

"That's very good news," she said.

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