The U.S. Navy’s temporary water filter system in Levittown is operational as of May 14.
The temporary treatment facility is part of a $5-million pump-and-filter plant to be completed by April 2013 to help filter pollution that is threatening local drinking water, officials have said.
A 30-foot-tall permanent building — nearly 3,000-square-foot — to hold water-filtering equipment will be built at 670 Seamans Neck Road.
The land was owned by Aqua New York Inc., which supplied drinking water to parts of Hempstead and Oyster Bay towns until American Water Works Co. recently acquired it.
The construction of the temporary filter was completed by May 1, said Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic spokesman Tom Kreidel. The system first had to be approved by the Nassau County Department of Health before going operational on May 14.
The health department collected samples from the treatment unit, which was part of the approval process, Kreidel said.
Increasing pollution levels at the site required the quick construction of a water treatment plant, which the Navy will operate, officials had said. The former Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. assembled and tested aircraft there for the Navy from the 1930s to the 1990s, leaving an underground plume of industrial solvents, they said.
In 2007, levels of the solvent trichloroethene in the groundwater ranged from zero to 0.8 micrograms per liter. They have risen to as much as 3.3 micrograms per liter, below the federal allowable level of 5.0 micrograms per liter, officials had said.