He added that iron levels will be reduced approximately 10 times from the levels of the existing wells and that removing iron from water is important more so for aesthetic purposes rather than health.
“The water we send to our customers meets or exceeds every standard,” Kern said, “but if it’s not perfectly clear customers are not going to be happy. Down in the well, 500 feet below the surface, the rock and sand layers have a very high natural iron content and some of that gets into that water, so when you bring it up it’s not a contamination, it’s just the geological characteristic of that water.”
The iron content will be filtered before the water is sent out to residents. Once a day the filters will be washed. The wash water will flow into a 26-foot high backwash tank. From there it will slowly be discharged into the sewer system. Kern said the Lynbrook plant marks the 10th for NYAW in the system that has iron filtration capabilities with plans for an 11th in the works.
An emergency power generator is also being constructed on the plant’s property in case power is lost for an extended period of time. NYAW Vice President of Operations Brian Bruce said it’s important to keep water flowing after crises like Hurricane Sandy for sanitary reasons and so fire departments could fight fires if necessary.
The Lynbrook project, which started last August, has a price tag of $7.5 million, Kern said. The original plant was built in the 1950s and demolished last year. The new buildings will have a residential look to them to blend in with the surrounding community.
When multiple wells, like in Valley Stream Lynbrook, are not in service due to construction, NYAW gets by because of its other plants in the system that pick up the slack. In the winter months, Kern said the 34 plants in southern Nassau County produce approximately 35 million gallons of water a day during the winter whereas in the summer months, roughly 80 millions gallons are produced. The increase is mainly due to lawn watering.