For "Buying In" The Carle Place Water District's capital improvement...

For "Buying In" The Carle Place Water District's capital improvement projects are to include an aeration system and paint for its water tower. (Aug. 17, 2012) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

The Carle Place Water District has been issued a $14.8 million bond from the Town of North Hempstead to upgrade facilities and increase its supply, which officials said has shown an uptick in contaminants.

The district, which said it worked for years to begin these capital improvement projects, will construct a new pump station and extend another well site, a move officials say will increase the water supply to cope with population pressures. It will also add an ion exchange system to filter out perchlorate and nitrate, which officials say are appearing more frequently in the water supply, and a packed tower aeration system to remove other hazardous organic compounds.

The projects also include maintenance work and a new paint job for the tower itself -- which alone would cost about $2 million, the district said. It is also adding powerful standby generators to power the well sites, which are now wider, to produce more water.

Timothy Stellato, water district commissioner, explained that new construction projects and rising population fueled demand for a larger water supply. "In addition to maintaining a high quality of water, I have to maintain adequate water for fire protection," he said.

The 10-year bond, the district estimated, would increase the tax rate by $12 per month for a home assessed at $398,000. The full increase would not be felt immediately, said Stellato, but probably toward the end of the 10-year period.

"We're not at the threshold where we're required to treat, but the reports are trending upward," Stellato said. "We're not at that point yet, but we're going to be there very soon."

At the town board meeting Tuesday night, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman pressed the commissioner about the scope of the project. The district has nearly 9,000 residents.

"It's a fairly large bond for a very small area," Kaiman said.

Stellato said the infrastructure improvements were long overdue.

"They hadn't done any bonding in a very long time," explained Viviana Russell, the councilwoman whose district includes Carle Place. "Now they're at a point where there is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be done."

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