Warning issued for private well owners
The area potentially affected by the private well water contamination.

Courtesy Photo

Warning issued for private well owners


Yesterday, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services issued a water quality warning for private well owners in East Patchogue and South Medford. As a precautionary measure, health officials are offering to sample private wells at no charge to homeowners.

The cause of the private well survey came after the detection of perflurooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) found in a nearby public water supply well. Though there were no detections of PFOS above health guidance levels in the public water distributed to customers, the Suffolk County Water Authority has taken the wells out of service.

PFOS is part of a class of chemicals known as PFAS, used in a number of industrial and commercial products such as firefighting foam, as well as coatings that repel water, oil, stains and grease. People may be exposed to the chemical through the air, water or soil and from consumer products, said the SC Department of Health.

According to the US EPA, levels for the chemical in drinking water are set at a concentration of 70 parts per trillion, in an effort to protect the most sensitive populations including fetuses during pregnancy and breast fed babies. Levels have not exceeded the advisory level in the public water supply and are only cause for concern if ingested. Bathing and showering is not expected to be a concern.

SCDHS said they would like to sample an estimated 58 properties that are served with private wells in the area. Residents who use private wells from North to Jamaica Avenue, south to Montauk Highway, west to Buffalo Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, on Swan River and east to Sipp Avenue and Gazzola Drive are advised to contact the SCDHS office at 631-852-5810. Home connected to a public water supply do not need their water tested, said the letter from SCDHS, as the water is routinely tested.

The SCDHS also encourages residents affected by the potential problem to utilize free bottled water as a precaution until results of their water tests are available. To schedule a delivery call 631-852-4820. Residents who have questions may contact the SCDHS at 631-852-5810. For more information visit www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health/pfcwaterinfo.