Water quality and conservation

Suffolk County Water Authority hosts talk


Looking to save water?

The Suffolk County Water Authority has some ideas, including watering your lawn only every other day.

That was one of the conservation ideas SCWA representatives shared at a Water Talk at the Patchogue-Medford Library on Thursday night and broadcast to a virtual audience on Zoom.

All of Long Island’s water comes from an underground aquifer that holds 65 trillion gallons.

Water usage peaks from May through August at 490,000 gallons per minute, according to the authority’s PowerPoint presentation. Sixty to 70 percent of that is used for irrigation.

In winter, customers use far less, about 25,000 gallons per minute.

The average homeowner uses about 150,000 gallons per year. To reduce your water usage, SCWA suggests the following:

Let your grass grow longer.

Water every other day for no more than 30 minutes. Watering too frequently can damage plants.

Install an irrigation timer. SCWA will give you a $150 credit off your next bill if you install a smart irrigation timer

If you have a sprinkler system—the average system uses 10 to 15 gallons per minute—make sure it’s watering the grass, not your driveway or another impervious surface.

Have your sprinkler system inspected every three years to make sure it is operating effectively.

Take your car to the car wash, rather than doing it at home. Most car washes recycle the water they use.

For more water saving ideas, visit www.OurWaterOurLives.com

SCWA representatives also discussed what the authority does to maintain water quality, including performing 190,950 tests on 91,251 water samples in 2022, according to the authority’s PowerPoint presentation.

“Your water is clean to drink if you’re hooked up to the Suffolk County Water Authority,” said John Marafino, customer growth coordinator for SCWA.

Some at the meeting expressed concerns about 1,4 dioxane and PFAS chemicals, so-called “forever chemicals,” affecting water safety and about possible effects from the Town of Brookhaven landfill.

The authority’s latest Drinking Water Quality Report can be found on its website, www.SCWA.com.

The authority has made several improvements in the Patchogue area in the past year, including extending a water main on Hewlett Avenue in January and replacing a water main on Old North Ocean Avenue in April 2022.

It is currently replacing 2,000 feet of water line on Conklin Avenue and plans a 1,500-foot replacement project on Louis Avenue.

In the Bellport area, six tie-ins, ranging from 200 feet to 770 feet, were completed between November 2021 and June 2022.

SCWA, an independent public-benefit corporation, serves 1.2 million residents throughout Suffolk County and maintains about 6,000 miles of water lines.