Southampton Town has set aside $4 million to extend water mains in East Quogue where contaminants have been detected in private wells and connect homes in the hamlet to public water.
Traces of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), chemicals the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has linked to cancers and other health impacts, have been detected in 45 private wells in the hamlet. The town is investigating a closed landfill on Damascus Road as well as nearby Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach as the sources of the compounds, once used to manufacture fire suppression foam and nonstick products.
The water main project’s funding source is the Community Preservation Fund, which is financed through a 2 percent tax on real estate transfers. Twenty percent of the fund is available for water quality initiatives following a 2017 voter-approved change to the law.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill last month allowing the funds to be used to build water mains in areas affected by drinking water contamination. Public water, unlike private wells, is regularly monitored and must meet drinking water standards.
Extending the water mains is expected to cost $1.2 million, surcharges will total $800,000 and connecting homes to the system will cost $2 million, according to the town. The Town Board voted 5-0 in favor of setting the money aside at its meeting on Tuesday.
The town has also applied for a state grant to cover up to $1.2 million of the water main work.