The Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) announced that it has submitted applications for more than $100 million in grant funding through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA). The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation made $425 million available for clean water and drinking water improvement projects. This represents the largest funding request in SCWA’s history, signaling a significant effort towards bolstering its water treatment capabilities and expanding access to public drinking water.
The grant applications focus on addressing critical water quality challenges. The bulk of the proposed projects would install new systems to treat emerging contaminants, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and 1,4-dioxane. SCWA has aggressively sought to remove these contaminants from its drinking water supply, going beyond what is required by state and federal regulations. The grant funding, should it be approved, would help SCWA accelerate its timeline to install new treatment.
Charles Lefkowitz, chairman of SCWA, expressed enthusiasm for the funding opportunity, “This truly has been a historic moment. With hundreds of millions of dollars being made available by the state, it is a unique opportunity for SCWA to get ahead of our already ambitious plans. We are committed to deploying cutting-edge technologies to confront water quality challenges head-on, and this substantial funding opportunity could play a pivotal role in realizing our mission.”
Jeff Szabo, chief executive officer of SCWA, emphasized the significance of securing grant funding and its direct benefit to the customers. “Every dollar obtained through grants means costs saved for our customers. These grants afford us the opportunity to maintain the highest standards of water quality and reliability while also being fiscally responsible.”
In addition to treatment projects, SCWA also submitted applications to extend water services to homes on private wells affected by PFAS to ensure that residents have access to the highest-quality public drinking water. Securing grant funding for communities that have been most affected by PFAS helps to reduce the overall cost to the residents without any expense to its existing customers.