UPDATE: As Patch reported earlier today, Long Island American Water, the company that supplies H20 to residents in Malverne, West Hempstead and Lakeview, was put under the microscope several times this week and some test results are in.
LIAW announced Friday in their weekly update to the Malverne Civic Association that the second water sample they sent to the Nassau County Department of Health from the tank in their new iron treatment plant passed the tests. This means that they now have the green light to finally put the facility online. They plan put it into service on Tuesday, March 8.
He cautioned that when the plant is put on-line it will create a "reverse flow," causing some disturbance to the system at first. This may result in residents seeing discoloration in their cold water temporarily.
"Just let it run and it will go away," he said.
Varley also announced that the results were in for the four samples of tap water that had been taken from homes in the area and sent to an independent lab.
"We are pleased to inform you that the results for iron fall within the health department standards," Varley said. He will have a summary table available on Monday.
Earlier this week Varley, made a special visit to Village Hall Wednesday night to speak to officials and residents at the Board of Trustees meeting. He used this time to follow-up on the different steps he promised to take to fix in the community when he gathered at the Malverne Public Library last month.
"We made a commitment as a company to get back to people, to follow through," Varley said.
He explained that they lived up to their first promise to in Malverne, West Hempstead and Lakeview within one week to clear the sediment that had accumulated in the system during the winter months. His crews accomplished this task between Feb. 14 and Feb. 18, flushing over 200 hydrants in the area, plus some in northern Lynbrook.
At the Feb. 10 meeting, many residents called for random testing to be conducted in homes throughout the village as the only testing that the company itself has performed on a regular basis is done at two commercial properties located just blocks apart.
Varley explained that during the week, the Malverne Civic Association collected samples of tap water from four homes in the area with plans to test two more. They were sent to a New York State certified independent lab and he promised to post the results online and distribute hard copies to the Civic.
It's not just the tap water that has gone under the microscope this week. A well in Lakeview that had been out of service for quite some time for routine maintenance recently underwent repairs and testing.
"We put the well pump back together again," Varley said, explaining that they are just awaiting the results of bacterial samples they took from the well. "This well is pretty key, because it has a naturally low iron content, so we'll be able to put that in service."
Varley also had good news to share regarding the tank at the iron removal treatment plant that has prevented the new facility from coming on line for months. LIAW had been waiting for the paint applied to the inside of the tank to completely cure, but it had been taking much longer than anticipated. Varley had made a promise to have the plant on line within five to six weeks from his meeting with Malverne residents, making the deadline March 24 to deliver on this goal.
The company recently sampled the water in the tank yet again to see if there was any residue from the coating, which would indicate that it still had not fully cured. This was sent it to the Nassau County Department of Health, which requires two consecutive sets of samples meet their standards in order to put the facility into use. After the first set made the cut, a second set of samples were taken on Tuesday and on Friday, LIAW got the go-ahead to continue with their plans to put the plant in service.)
"If the second set comes back acceptable we're going be able to put the plant in service sometime early next week," Varley said.
Varley also encouraged residents to flush out their hot water heaters on a regular basis.
"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 said.
He explained that this is a major contributor to the brown water and sediment that people experience in their bath tubs, because as the water level in the heater drops as you consume more hot water, the iron sediment that has accumulated at the bottom gets into the pipes.
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.
Also, at Village Hall is a product that can take out any stains or discoloration that has occurred in your laundry due to the brown water. LIAW has dropped off jars of CorrBrite, a solution that will remove rust and iron stains from laundry, that residents can pick up for free at Village Hall. As of Friday, some were still available.
"It worked great,” said Trustee Michael Bailey, who tried it out on his laundry.
"We’re following through on the commitments," Varley said.
Ofcourse, the brown water issue is not exclusive to Malverne. Varley explained that the new treatment plant will bring a noticeable improvement to surrounding areas as well. Some residents in West Hempstead have experienced the problems with brown water and the West Hempstead Community Support and Civic Association (WHCSC) has joined in the efforts to keep LIAW accountable.
The association has reached out to the company, which has promised to send a representative to their meeting on March 21. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the West Hempstead High School Video Conference Room.
Also, speaking at the meeting will be a representative from Mill Creek Residential, the developer that recently purchased the Courtesy Hotel, who will discuss demolition and construction plans, and Inspector Christopher Healey, the new commander of the Nassau County Police's 5th Precinct.