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Letter: Water suppliers test for toxic solvent

This Hicksville Water District well pump, shown on

This Hicksville Water District well pump, shown on Dec. 22, 2016, has been taken off line since the contaminant 1,4-dioxane was discovered in the water. The unregulated chemical, a possible carcinogen, has been found in 71 percent of Long Island water districts. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

In light of reports concerning 1,4-dioxane [“Worries over chemical in water,” News, Jan. 10], Long Island water suppliers want residents to rest assured that we deliver drinking water at levels that meet or surpass federal and state regulations. In fact, water providers across Long Island continuously test for more than 200 contaminants, which is far beyond what is required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

1,4-dioxane is a synthetic compound that has been found in groundwater throughout the United States. There is no chemical-specific federal or New York State drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane. However, it is regulated by the New York State Department of Health at a maximum contaminant level of 50 parts per billion. To put the level of 1,4-dioxane allowed in drinking water into perspective, the EPA has indicated a safe level of the contaminant in foods such as chicken, shrimp and tomatoes is 10,000 parts per billion.

Long Island water suppliers urge the EPA and the state health department to provide action plans for contaminants of concern.

Stan Carey, Massapequa

Editor’s note: The writer is chairman of the Long Island Water Conference, a coalition of more than 50 water suppliers and industry representatives.