The Village of Mineola has taken one of its wells off-line in an effort to curb an increase of potentially hazardous contaminants found in the untreated water.
According to superintendent of public works Tom Rini the village had “voluntarily taken well No. 4 out of service because we saw a rise in certain volatile organic compounds in our raw water before it’s treated.”
Well No. 4 is located on Old Country Road and Eighth Avenue and its existing aeration system on the well is 20 years old.
“It needs some upgrades to be pulling out certain volatile organic compounds that have appeared in there,” Rini said.
Rini did not list a complete rundown of all the compounds that were found, but did state that trichloroethylene (TCE), a dry-cleaning solution, which “seems to be coming up in a higher amount... and before we reached any sort of action level, we decided to pull that out first.”
When the compounds reach a certain level in the water, action must be taken.
“We didn’t want it to get to that level,” Rini said at the April 4 meeting of the at the , “so we voluntarily took it out of service before it could get to that level to begin to prepare for what we need to do to remove those.”
Added deputy mayor Paul Pereira: “We’re just being proactive.”
According to Wikipedia, TCE is a clear nonflammable liquid which was once used as a general anesthetic but was banned due to concerns over toxicity and has been banned in food and pharmaceutical industries since the 1970s. The results of a 2005 health assessment study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency have characterized the chemical as a human carcinogen.
The village authorized a design report from engineering firm Dvirka & Bartilucci in the amount of $26,000 for the repairs to the packed tower aeration system at well No. 4.
The village already conducted an inspection of the well, the cost of which was included in the design report, which will take the inspection report and list what engineering changes, if any, must be made as well as instrumentation upgrades required by the health department “to make sure we’re stripping out everything we’re supposed to,” Rini said. “When this tower was originally planned and built, this compound wasn’t there; it didn’t appear in the water. What this will do is tell us all those things that we need to do and then give us a real hard idea on the costs involved in making the upgrades to the facility.”
Rini said that the village has not been able to identify the source of the compounds, stating that that it was not from any sort of a plume.
“TCE is running out there in a lot of different places,” he said.