Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association Addresses 1,4-dioxane Issues

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From left: Larry Zaino, NSWCA Treasurer and Carle Place Water District Commissioner; Michael F. Rich III, NSWCA President and Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner; Amanda Field, NSWCA Secretary and Plainview Water District Commissioner; Bill Merklin, Senior Vice President D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C.; Bill Schuckmann, NSWCA 1st Vice President and Hicksville Water District Commissioner.

Water commissioners representing 21 Long Island water districts serving on the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) recently received a detailed presentation regarding 1,4-dioxane; one of the biggest issues facing water suppliers and Long lsland residents today. The in-depth presentation was led by guest speaker Bill Merklin, senior vice president of D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C. Water Supply Division, located in Woodbury. The speaker program is part of the association’s on-going education series.

In discussing the origins of 1,4-dioxane, Merklin noted, “Decades of industrial chemical manufacturing led to the concentrations of 1,4-dioxane that we now see in our groundwater. This contaminant can also be found in small amounts in some consumer products, ranging from shampoos, cosmetics and detergents to inks and food packaging.”

Michael F. Rich III, NSWCA President and Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner (left), congratulates Bill Merklin, Senior Vice President D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C. (right), on a successful presentation.

During his presentation,Merklin reviewed the regulatory status, treatment processes, and timeline realities. He said, “One of the most promising treatments is Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP), which involves ultraviolet light and a strong oxidizing agent like hydrogen peroxide followed by Granular Activated Carbon (GAC).”

Merklin cautioned that pilot testing and other evaluations are required before design and eventual integration with other existing treatments.

Michael F. Rich III, NSWCA president and Oyster Bay Water District commissioner, commented, “As all of our member districts await further direction from the New York State Department of Health, we truly appreciate Bill Merklin’s incisive presentation about the realities of 1,4-dioxane and potential treatment. It sheds light on an emerging threat while assisting commissioners and superintendents with developing strategies for addressing 1,4-dioxane contamination within individual water districts.”

—Submitted by NSWCA

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