Category Archives: Featured

NSWCA Awards $1,000 Scholarship to College Student

At its April membership meeting, Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association presented a $1,000 scholarship to college freshman Charlee Muller.

The Nicholas Bartilucci Memorial Scholarship is given annually from NSWCA to a first-year student from Manhattan College in honor of former Commissioner Bartilucci who served for 48 years. Charlee was chosen based on her interest in pursuing a career in environmental engineering. She is currently majoring in civil/environmental engineering and minoring in mathematics.

“It is a privilege to present this scholarship in honor of Nicholas Bartilucci to Charlee, who is a budding environmental engineer who will continue to pursue our mission of promoting environmental excellence for the next generation,” said NSWCA President Ralph Atoria from the South Farmingdale Water District. “I wish her all the best as she continues her academic practices to the path of pursing her dream of becoming an environmental engineer.”

The Commissioners from Charlee’s respective home district of South Farmingdale Water formally presented her with the scholarship check at the April 15 membership meeting held at Palmer’s American Grille in Farmingdale.

NSWCA Hosts Presentation on Benefits of Solar Energy

As part of its mission to implement best practices and engage in strategic collaboration, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) recently hosted a meeting that included a special presentation from Harvest Power, a recognized regional operator in solar.

The presentation was led by CEO and owner Carlo Lanza and Director of Business Development Gregory Gordon on harnessing the power of solar energy as an affordable energy alternative. The pair covered the benefits of going solar, a review of the types of solar arrays, options to generate revenue from energy providers, and incentives being offered to municipalities.

“As Commissioners that represent our respective Districts, we have a fiduciary responsibility to look at alternate means of energy that would potentially offset costs to our communities,” commented NSWCA President Ralph Atoria of South Farmingdale Water District. “Mr. Lanza and Mr. Gordon have highlighted some major efficiencies, along with the potential feasibility and affordability of alternate sources of energy for our Districts. On behalf of the association, we appreciate Harvest Power for sharing this wealth of information that we’ll take back to our respective Districts.”

NSWCA Hosts Training on Benefits of Drone Surveillance

As part of its mission to implement best practices and engage in strategic collaboration, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) recently hosted a meeting that included a special presentation from H2M architects + engineers on how to best utilize drones and aerial video footage to support water districts’ plant operations.

The presentation was led by Heather Evangelista, Staff Engineer – Water Resources from H2M architects + engineers. Ms. Evangelista shared with voter-elected Commissioners from 21 Nassau and Suffolk County water districts the benefits to utilizing drones at their plants and well sites.

The presentation included examples of how H2M architects + engineers utilizes aerial drones to monitor construction progress and for tank inspections. Drone footage increases efficiencies while reducing project costs, and also boosts worker safety. While the benefits were innumerable, Ms. Evangelista also shared limitations to consider such as FAA regulations and the effects of its GPS signal, battery life and weather as factors.

“As Commissioners that represent our respective Districts, we are responsible for the complete oversight of our facilities and we are always looking to advance our capabilities in cost-effective ways,” commented NSWCA President Ralph Atoria from South Farmingdale Water District. “Safety is also one of our number one concerns, and drone footage of tank inspections will keep our workers safely on the ground.  We continually source new technology to advance our mission to safeguard our water. On behalf of the association, we appreciate Ms. Evangelista sharing this wealth of information that we’ll look to incorporate within our Districts.”

Safeguarding LI’s Water Supply

The home to one of the world’s greatest aquifer systems, Long Island’s water has come under great scrutiny in recent years due to emerging contaminants. As stewards of the water served to over 620,000 people, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioner’s Association (NSWCA) member water districts have long been out front in the fight to safeguard Long Island’s water supply and sole source aquifer.

These emerging contaminants, sometimes referred to as ‘forever chemicals’, are in large part a pervasive legacy from Long Island’s industrial past, including WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Space Race that resulted in the United States becoming the first nation to put a man on the moon. Other emerging contaminants are byproducts of everyday household products such as non-stick kitchenware, food packaging and detergents, even paints, cleaning products and water-resistant clothing.

The presence of such contaminants is not limited to Long Island, this is a nationwide concern. New York State’s aggressive stance on emerging contaminants and definitive corrective actions began with the implementation of some of the country’s strictest regulations, and progress is being made.

NSWCA President Patricia Peterson stated, “Each of the NSWCA’s 21 member districts has different situations and different needs, but all emerging contaminants are being addressed with proper engineering, technology and filtration treatment systems. The single most significant fact for the public to understand is that all the water that goes into the distribution systems of all of our 21 NSWCA member districts meets or exceeds all local, New York State and federal MCL regulations, all of the time.”

The NSWCA member districts have been proactively involved in rectifying the problems even prior to the New York State mandates, standards and regulations. Given the advances in technology and the impetus from Albany, NSWCA member districts have constructed some of the most advanced water treatment systems in the country to ensure a plentiful supply of potable water.

“For example,” President Peterson commented, “Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) systems have been successfully designed, constructed and installed to remove 1,4-dioxane, and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filtration has proven to be the most effective means of removing PFOS and PFOA substances. Even with the presence of forever chemicals, it is far from a hopeless situation and much more of a hopeful situation. The science and technologies of today, as deployed by our 21 NSWCA member water districts, have proven to be effective remedies to yesterday’s legacies and they ensure the purity, potability and compliance of the water of tomorrow. Our commitment to safeguarding the future is unwavering.”

Passing of Past Supt. Richard “Woody” Woodwell of the Hicksville Water District

NSWCA Members ~

It is with sadness that we report that former Superintendent Richard “Woody” Woodwell has passed away. Arrangements are pending at this time.

Woody served the Hicksville Water District for over 50 years, starting in 1947 as a laborer at the height of the expansion of the Hicksville community. He worked his way through the ranks becoming a meter reader, water servicemen and water plant operator before serving as Hicksville Water District Superintendent from 1983 to 1998.

Woody was a Korean War veteran and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of the Long Island Water Conference and the American Water Works Association. Woody lived in Syosset and is survived by his son Justin.