Fighting to Preserve Long Island's Environment Since 1984

Well Testing Urged for Suffolk Private Well Owners

Department of Health finds pesticide contaminants in half of private wells tested.

Contact Governor Pataki to Demand Funding for Drinking Water Testing.

A study conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation found pesticide contamination in 51% of 834 private wells sampled on Long Island. The testing was primarily focused in present and former agricultural area where pesticide contamination was expected to be greatest, mostly in the five east end towns. However samples were taken from all across Long Island.

The survey found that 54 wells (about 6.5%) exceeded Federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) for drinking water. However, for a number of the compounds found, no MCL has yet been established.

The DEC did not renew the contract with the Suffolk County Health Department under which this study was prepared. The funding the contract provided allowed the the Health Department to provide subsidized well water testing to many Long Islanders, and most importantly to proactively initiate testing where they believed contamination would most likely be a problem.

Although the lack of State funding has cut back on the program, low cost testing is still available for Suffolk County residents. For a fee of $65, the Suffolk Health Department will sample your existing well. For details on how to get your well tested, see the Suffolk Department of Health Services web site. You can download the form to request well testing here. For households with a combined income of less than $25,000 the $65 fee can be waived.

The Neighborhood Network has joined with a coalition of environmental organizations in a campaign to promote awareness of the importance of private well testing. We are also calling on Governor Pataki to restore State funding to the Suffolk Health Department for its vitally important Water Quality Monitoring Program.

To get more details from the the Suffolk Health Department's water quality report, and to see a letter from leading environmental groups to Governor Pataki, see the Group for the South Fork.

You can help by calling Governor Pataki's Suffolk office at 631-952-6583.
Urge the Governor to put sorely needed money back into the Water Quality Monitoring Program for Long Island.

Other groups helping to fund the Well Testing Campaign:

Group for the South Fork


South Fork Groundwater Task Force


Amagansett Springs Aquifer Protection


North Fork Environmental Council


Moriches Bay Audubon Society

North Fork Audubon

Peconic Baykeeper

Neighborhood Network
90 Pennsylvania Avenue, Massapequa, NY 11758 Tel: (516) 541-4321 Fax: (516) 541-4401