Malverne resident raises concerns about discolored water

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Water quality was a major topic of discussion at Malverne’s village board meeting on Oct. 3. James Schimmenti, who lives on Ambrose Avenue, said he was concerned about the water quality on his block. His water, he said, which is provided by New York American Water, has been brown.

Mike Nofi, a water-quality manager for the company, recently took samples, and told Schimmenti that iron was causing the discoloration. “He says iron wouldn’t do anything to your system,” Schimmenti said. “I’m not a chemist, so I wouldn’t know that.”

Schimmenti, who said that he and his neighbors cook and shower with that water, added that he was curious to know what else might be in it. Richard Kern, the company’s production manager, said the village’s water main replacement program should remedy the issue.

“We realize that it’s very frustrating for our customers,” Kern said. “We take this very, very seriously. It’s a difficult problem, and it’s one that’s not just in Malverne, but all throughout our service area.”

Schimmenti said he wrote a letter to State Assemblyman Brian Curran seeking his support.

“If you bring up a bottle that’s orange or brown, I don’t care if you’re a physician or not,” Curran said. “That can’t be good to be putting into your body.”

Kern said that NYAW has a fixed routine in which water is tested at its source and throughout the distribution system each week, and that the company takes hundreds and thousands of samples monthly, quarterly and annually, depending on what it is seeking. All of its findings, he said, are shared with the Nassau County Department of Health. If any of the reports show signs of poor water quality, the water is retested.

“Just like any medical test you have, you don’t take one test,” Kern said. “You go out and get tested a few more times.”

“The challenge is having someone from the state health department look at the issue that Mr. Schimmenti raised,” Kern added. “We’re prepared to give all of that data for someone else to

look at.”

Deputy Mayor Keith Corbett said that while the board understands there is a methodology, there has to be a better routine for testing the water. “You can understand when you see some of the discoloration to the levels that we’re seeing it,” Corbett said. “It makes us concerned for our residents and what they’re dealing with.”

American Water began flushing mains and hydrants in the village on Monday, and Kern said that the company would continue to do so periodically until Nov. 15.

“You have been very responsive to our concerns and sitting down and talking to us,” Curran said, “but you’re a publicly traded company . . . test the water, spend the couple of hundred dollars [and] let’s see what the results are.”

Malverne Mayor Patti Ann McDonald said at the meeting that she would write a letter to the state Department of Health expressing the village’s concerns.

Have any additional concerns with water quality on your block? Send your letter to the editor at ngrant@liherald.com.