Mineola water HQ must go in plan to remove toxins

The Island Now

The Village of Mineola is planning to relocate its water department headquarters to make room for a larger water filtration system that may be needed to get one of its wells working again, a village official said last Wednesday.

The village will build a structure large enough to hold two machines called air strippers to remove toxic chemicals from water coming through Well No. 1 on Elm Place, meaning the village building there will have to be demolished, said Thomas Rini, the public works superintendent.

The village plans to install one air stripper and the infrastructure for a second one and then monitor the levels of toxins to determine whether the second stripper is necessary, Rini said.

“This way, if we needed to do it, it could happen relatively quickly,” he said. “So [we’re] trying to plan out for the future in case we need to add that.

“We hope not to have to do it, but we have to plan for it.”

The village took the well out of service in 2014, when the amounts of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, were approaching dangerous levels, Rini said.

Plans have been in the works since then to install an air stripper, a device that uses pressurized air to push toxins out of water.

VOC readings at the well indicate a “two-stage” air stripper might be necessary in the future if the levels of chemicals continue to rise after the first air stripper is installed, Rini said. That system is larger than originally anticipated and would take up the lot where the water department headquarters currently sits, he said.

“There’s a hot spot north of us there that’s leeching some nasty stuff,” Rini said.

It is uncertain when work will start, how long it will take or how much the building demolition and air stripper installation will cost because the project is still in the design phase, Rini said.

The new location of the water department headquarters also has not been determined, said Joseph Scalero, the village clerk.

The Village Board on Wednesday authorized a $51,000 payment to Dvirka & Bartilucci, the village’s engineering firm, for a revised design report for the project. Rini said he expects to have the report within the next few weeks.

“It’s something that we need to do,” village Mayor Scott Strauss said.

Well No. 1 is the only village well currently out of service, Rini said. Two others were recently restored after being out of service for more than two decades.

The village will likely  increase its usual capacity of 1,100 gallons per minute by 10 percent once it is functional again, he said.


Reach reporter Noah Manskar by e-mail at nmanskar@theislandnow.com or by phone at 516.307.1045 x204. Also follow us on Twitter @noahmanskar and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

By Noah Manskar

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