Hempstead Village Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr., right, at a news...

Hempstead Village Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr., right, at a news conference Wednesday with Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Town Supervisor Donald Clavin Jr. Credit: Newsday/Ted Phillips

The Village of Hempstead will borrow $55 million to pay for the cost of a new water treatment plant on the site of its existing plant on Clinton Street.

The village has been out of compliance with state water standards for chemical 1,4-dioxane since at least 2021 when it began releasing quarterly reports mandated by the state on its progress. The New York State Health Department has given the village multiple deferrals in order to bring water up to the new standards that took effect in 2020. The latest deferral expires in August.

“We're going to construct a brand new facility here at this location,” Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr. said at a news conference Wednesday outside the existing plant. The village provides water to 59,169 full-time residents, according to the village. 

The new plant will bring 1,4-dioxane contamination levels down to levels mandated under state health standards, Hobbs said. 

“We have a very old infrastructure, water and sewer, our facilities are over 100 years old,” Hobbs said. “We want to ensure that we remove the high levels of dioxane in our water.”

New York State made water standards stricter in 2020 to lower the acceptable level of harmful chemicals, including 1,4-dioxane, in drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct in necessities such as soap and detergent, is a “likely human carcinogen” found in groundwater sites throughout the country.

The village board on Tuesday approved 5-0 three resolutions to bond $55 million for the new system. According to the resolutions, the project will be built in five stages, according to village engineering consultant J. Robert Holzmacher.

The village will pay for the borrowing through property taxes and assessments over 40 years, according to the resolutions.

Village officials said they are seeking state and federal grants to offset the cost to property owners.

“If the state and federal government assist us, then that cost or burden won’t be as much on our taxpayers,” Hobbs said at the news conference. The village did not provide the cost to taxpayers.

The first phase of the project, costing $27 million, will involve constructing a new building to provide an advanced oxidation process to remove contaminants, including 1,4 dioxane, according to Holzmacher and village documents. 

In phases two and three, for which $23 million in bonding was approved, new filtration systems will be built, which will require a temporary reduction in water capacity.

Water capacity will return to normal during phases four and five. These phases, expected to cost $5 million, will include the demolition of an existing treatment basin and building a new water storage tank. 

According to a 2022 drinking water report provided by the village, 1,4-dioxane levels were measured as high  as 10.6 micrograms per liter. State regulations set the limit at 1 microgram per liter. 

State health department spokeswoman Erin Clary in an email Wednesday said, "The delivered water in the Village of Hempstead does not pose a significant health risk and continues to be acceptable for all uses."

Boy hospitalized after being hit by car ... NUMC deficit ... FeedMe: Smithtown farmers market Credit: Newsday

Updated 45 minutes ago Hot and humid again today ... Boy hospitalized after being hit by car ... Bethpage drums tipster ... New oyster reef

Boy hospitalized after being hit by car ... NUMC deficit ... FeedMe: Smithtown farmers market Credit: Newsday

Updated 45 minutes ago Hot and humid again today ... Boy hospitalized after being hit by car ... Bethpage drums tipster ... New oyster reef

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME