After months of waiting, water testing and responding to public outrage, Long Island American Water has finally put the iron removal plant in Malverne in service.
The facility went on-line at 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to Long Island Water President Bill Varley, who said several engineers were working throughout the day to accomplish this task.
"It's working right now, it's removing the iron and pumping it into the system," Varley said. The $7.5 million plant but has been plagued by problems with one of its tanks that prevented it from going online, will now add four million gallons of clear, iron-free water into the system.
Varley said this should create a noticeable improvement in the color and quality of the tap water in the area, where many residents have complained about the from their faucets.
Varley said that some air did get into the system today when the plant was put into service, which could cause some minor disturbance in the pipes, but the company is monitoring the issue and sending crews out to flush hydrants to counteract it.
At the March 2 village board meeting, Varley told residents that this was expected and advised them if they do see some discoloration in their water as a result to just let the faucet run until it clears.
He also encouraged homeowners to flush their hot water heaters, because as the water level in the tank drops as residents consume more hot water, the iron sediment that has accumulated at the bottom gets into the pipes.
"I could put as much filtered water into the system, but if there is sediment still in the hot water heater that's left over, you're going to get it," he had said.
It's recommended by the manufacturers to flush your hot water heater a couple times each year, Varley said. For residents who need instructions on how to flush their hot water heaters, Varley has made easy-to-follow guides available on the company's Web site and at Village Hall, where LIAW dropped off pamphlets.
The benefits of the iron removal facility will not be exclusive to Malverne, Varley said. All customers in the area will see an improvement.
"It's going to go reach out like fingers to the whole area," Varley said.