Following extensive groundwater characterization and community input, the Laboratory began the installation of four groundwater treatment systems south and southeast of the Laboratory in the summer of 2003. These systems are designed to clean the groundwater, improve the quality of the aquifer and help to restore it back to its natural state. They are unrelated to the water provided by the Suffolk County Water Authority.
Groundwater Treatment System Locations
The locations of the four groundwater treatments systems can be seen on the following map, along with their associated wells, and piping routes:
Airport/LIPA Groundwater Treatment System
After listening to community concerns that a groundwater treatment system building not be constructed within residential areas, the Laboratory modified plans to construct a treatment building on the LIPA Right of Way along Puritan Drive. A building already planned to be constructed at the northern portion of the Brookhaven Airport to treat water extracted from that area was utilized for both the Puritan Drive and the Airport areas. Community members had voiced their preference for co-locating the systems in this way.
Piping was installed under segments of Puritan Drive and Flower Hill Drive (see map) to transport water to the treatment building.
June 2003: Workers install piping along Puritan Drive to transport contaminated groundwater to a groundwater treatment system building on Brookhaven Airport property. (See map.)
July 2003: On property owned by Dowling College and the Town of Brookhaven, workers build a road to access the construction site of the groundwater treatment building.
August, 2003: Scientists from Italy’s Grasso Laboratory visit the construction site of the Airport/LIPA Groundwater Treatment System. By the summer of 2004, this system is expected to be fully operational, cleaning groundwater at a rate of up to 1,000 gallons per minute.
September 2003: The cut area of Puritan Drive was repaved to be smooth and level with the rest of the road. Many residents, including those of the East Yaphank Civic Association commended the Laboratory for the excellent work in repaving the road.
North Street and North Street East Groundwater Treatment System
The Laboratory responded to community input requesting that the groundwater treatment system building be kept away from residential areas. As a result, a remote location on North Street was selected. Groundwater extracted from a well on Sleepy Hollow Drive was piped south under that street, then east along Vita Drive, and finally north on North Street to the treatment building. (See map.) The building was positioned on the east side of the street, also at the request of residents.
Original plans had called for the construction of another building east of North Street on privately owned, undeveloped land. However, engineering evaluations determined that groundwater east of North Street could be cleaned within the one North Street building but as a separate system, now known as “North Street East.” The two treatment systems housed within one building are expected to be fully operational by the summer of 2004. The North Street system is expected to clean contaminated groundwater at a rate of nearly 450 gallons per minute. The North Street East system is expected to clean contaminated groundwater at a rate of up to 300 gallons per minute.
August 2003: In a remote location of North Street, work is underway for construction of the groundwater treatment system building.
October 2003: The first of four carbon-filtration tanks is lowered into the groundwater treatment system building. Two carbon tanks will be assigned to the North Street system, and the other two tanks assigned to the North Street East system. As groundwater is passed through the carbon, contaminants adhere to it. The resulting clean water is then returned below the ground.
September 2003: Electrical conduit is installed under North Street to support the groundwater treatment system.
October 2003: Workers clean up after installing piping under Sleepy Hollow Drive. The new piping will carry groundwater to a remote groundwater treatment building on North Street. (See map.)
December 2003: Construction of the North Street/North Street East groundwater treatment system building is nearly complete.
Industrial Park East Groundwater Treatment System
In a remote area of an industrial park just south of the Long Island Expressway, a groundwater treatment system building was installed alongside an already-existing treatment building. By the winter of 2004, the new system was undergoing startup testing to clean groundwater at depths of nearly 300 feet below the surface.
June 2003: Workers construct the Industrial Park East Groundwater Treatment System Building.
September 2003: Workers put the finishing touches on the new groundwater treatment system building. Inside the building at right, a large carbon-filled tank stands ready to absorb contaminants from groundwater.
February 2004: Inside the newly constructed groundwater treatment system tucked away at an offsite industrial park, Stefano Ciafani, an environmental engineer and consultant to the Italian Parliamentary Commission on Waste Recycling, learns how granulated carbon is used to absorb contaminants from groundwater. The new groundwater treatment building, running in test-mode in February, was pumping groundwater at depths of nearly 300 feet below the surface. By May of 2004, this system is expected to be running at full capacity cleaning contaminated groundwater at a rate of 160 gallons per minute. From left are: State Department Interpreter Gene Vricella, Stefano Ciafani, and Groundwater Projects Group Manager Bob Howe. Not pictured is Michael Hauptmann, groundwater project manager for the Industrial Park East Groundwater Treatment System.
Weeks Avenue Groundwater Treatment System
The Weeks Avenue Groundwater Treatment System Building was the last of the four to be constructed and is located west of Weeks Avenue. However, the building is not visible from Weeks Avenue.
December 2003: Workers establish the framework for the groundwater treatment building.
December 2003: A carbon vessel ready to absorb contaminants from groundwater is lowered into the treatment system building.
March 2004: The Weeks Avenue Groundwater Treatment System Building is nearly complete. By the summer of 2004, this system is expected to be fully operational cleaning groundwater at a rate of nearly 300 gallons per minute.