Category Archives: News

President Field on PFAS Action Act

NSWCA President and Plainview Water Commissioner Amanda Field commented in support of the PFAS Action Act of 2021. President Field echoed  Representative Kathleen Rice’s statement in observing that world leading treatment systems were being developed on Long Island and expressed gratitude for Rep. Rice’s support to reimburse proactive water providers.

For full release:Rice Provision to Reimburse Long Island Communities Included in House Passage of PFAS Action Act U

 

New 2021 NSWCA Board

Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) Elects New 2021 Board

Plainview Water Commissioner Amanda Field named President

February 22, 2021, Carle Place, New York, USA…….At a recent Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) virtual meeting sponsored by the Port Washington Water District, the Association elected a new Board for the 2021 term, which runs through December 31, 2021.

The newly elected NSWCA 2021 Board includes incoming President Amanda Field of the Plainview Water District who succeeds outgoing President William Schuckmann of the Hicksville Water District; 1st Vice President John F. Coumatos of the Bethpage Water District; 2nd Vice President Patricia Peterson of the Locust Valley Water District; Secretary Joseph Perry of the South Huntington Water District; and Treasurer Michael J. Kosinski, Chairman of the Roslyn Water District.

 

“Our organization is composed entirely of commissioners elected by the voters of our 21 districts to represent their best interests in the compliance, conservation, safety and economics of water supply,” President Field stated. “Having faced a difficult 2020 including the rigors of the COVID-19 virus, summertime drought, as well as new treatment planning and implementation island-wide, our membership is poised to ensure another year of protecting and serving our island’s most vital resource with an uninterrupted water supply.”

President Field added “I believe that our new 2021 Board brings together a group of commissioners whose talents, years of experience and dedication to serving the public will foster a collaborative atmosphere that features science, education and a continued delivery of public information to our communities. We will continue to emphasize conservation and environmentalism for long term sustainability as a means to overcome production challenges, be compliant with our regulatory partners in government, and to protect the health of our sole source aquifer.”

Infrastructure & COVID-19

The Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), was recently addressed on industry changes and COVID-19 by Michael Beyer, President of Bancker Construction Corporation (Islandia, NY).

“There is a new space race today, and this one is underground,” Mr. Beyer stated. “On Long Island it involves lane issues for limited real estate, essentially creating a competitive environment for utilities such as electric, gas and water services. Given the region’s aging infrastructure, the need for an overriding management plan is paramount to secure the delivery of future services.”

Mr. Beyer also discussed safety measures that his organization has taken with the advent of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

“Education begins with training our own people about the hazards of the coronavirus, health surveys each morning, and providing the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes the use of masks and social distancing, sanitary processes like hand washing stations on all vehicles, and nightly truck sanitizing. Communications outreach to educate the public is the key to project success, including timing and project scope. At Bancker, we canvass the neighborhoods, outreach to homeowners in the affected zone via social media and continually work to make customers part of the process.”

NSWCA President and Hicksville Water District Commissioner Mr. William Schuckmann commented, “our Association represents 21 voter-elected Long Island water districts, who have the day in, day out responsibility of providing potable drinking water to more than 620,000 consumers. We are grateful to Mr. Michael Beyer for his state of the industry update and future outlook. Given the need for conservation and long term sustainability, and in view of aging infrastructure and other industry changes, we will continue to seek greater efficiencies and cost savings while continuing to be compliant with all New York State, federal and local regulations.”

 

Education Series: Reviewing Budgets

Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association at Virtual Meeting To Review Budget Process And Monitoring Of Financial Performance

Recognized Accounting Expert From JKL Municipal Accounting Solutions, LLC Leads Presentation

Carle Place, NY, USA . . . As part of their on-going and Continuing Education Speaker Series, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), which represents 21 separate Long Island based water districts, assembled for a virtual meeting on August 26, for a special seminar organized and conducted by JKL Municipal Accounting Solutions, LLC of Smithtown, NY.

Ms. Jill K. Gunzel-Lemke, CPA and Managing Member of JKL Municipal Accounting Solutions, led the presentation on the importance of proper budgetary planning, including revenue and expenditure estimates; proper implementation of a budget; and the continued monitoring along with the resulting financial performance of the budgets within the water districts.  Ms. Lemke is the managing member of JKL Municipal Accounting Solutions, LLC and possesses over 20 years of experience working with governmental entities. Having a significant concentration on financial statement preparation, reporting, accounting systems and controls, budgeting and planning, her extensive experience allows her to provide insight and advice to municipal clients on reporting, trends and best practices.

 

Hicksville Water District Commissioner and NSWCA President and William Schuckmann commented, “We were delighted with the presentation conducted by Jill. Running one of these sessions is challenging enough, but to handle this virtually has a whole other set of issues. Jill’s presentation was most informative and quite important to our members, as we are always cognizant of ways to improve operations, while also looking at both greater efficiencies and cost savings with our services at NSWCA. We thank Jill for sharing her insights, knowledge, and time with us.”

Governor Cuomo, President Schuckmann

Cuomo, Schuckmann on New Standards for Emerging Contaminants.

In a groundbreaking move, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the adoption of a first-in-the-nation drinking water standard for the emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane. The New York State Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council unanimously approved setting the maximum contaminant level of 1 part per billion* for 1,4-dioxane.

In addition, Governor Cuomo announced maximum contaminant levels for emerging contaminants PFOA and PFOS which are among the lowest in the nation at 10 parts per trillion**. These announcements follow a public comment period and approval by the Public Health and Health Planning Council. Every water provider in the state is required to meet all water quality requirements.

 

 

“The Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) applauds the clarity and definition brought to the situation in New York State,” commented NSWCA President Bill Schuckmann. “Certainly, the 21 voter-elected NSWCA members and other water providers throughout Long Island where we have a single source aquifer, have aggressively pursued getting treatment systems up and running. The treatment systems, Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), are complex, and we are proud of the substantial progress that has been made to date in such a short amount of time.”According to figures released by the Long Island Water Conference (LIWC), Long Island water providers have collectively spent more than $150 million to date to design and construct state-of-the-art treatment facilities with another $350 million to be spent in the next 12 months, and an additional $350 million to be spent within the next five years.

“This is an extremely important issue that we are tackling head on,” Mr. Schuckmann added. “Our responsibility is to deliver the best drinking water possible for all our communities.  It’s that simple. The Long Island public can rest assured that we have been doing and will continue to do everything possible to fast-track each of these projects.”

New Monitoring Standards for Drinking Water

NSWCA Commissioners Review New Monitoring Standards for Drinking Water:  Industry and Regulatory Specialists James Roberts and James Neri Conduct Presentation

 CARLE PLACE, NY, USA . . . As part of their regularly scheduled Educational Speaker Series, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) received a presentation by H2M Architects + Engineers (Melville, NY) focused on new industry and regulatory standards for drinking water in New York State.

James J. Roberts, P.E., Vice President, Market Director of Water & Wastewater, and James L. Neri, P.E., Division Director – Water Resources, of H2M led the discussions. The presentation addressed recent developments and regulatory implications of New York State adopting new standard levels for drinking water involving the contaminants PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid), PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid), as well as the emerging contaminant,1,4-Dioxane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Left:  James J. Roberts; Image Right: James L. Neri

Mr. Roberts and Mr. Neri, both recognized engineering industry and regulatory experts, reviewed the contaminants with particular emphasis on 1,4-Dioxane and its new drinking water concentration levels. Using examples of 18 wells across five water districts, they advised the NSWCA commissioners on construction and performance testing.  Also addressed were updates involving the American Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) and an overview of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their position on perchlorate determinations, as well as potential future grants.

NSWCA President and Hicksville Water District Commissioner William Schuckmann commented, “We are  very grateful for the detailed presentation of facts. Both Mr. Robert’s and Mr. Neri’s presentations were most informative for our members, especially in light of Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement of New York State adopting a first-in-the-nation approach in addressing these contaminants in our drinking water – 1,4-Dioxane in particular.  These new standards are stringent, among the lowest nationwide for these contaminants, and they serve as a foundation for protecting New York’s public health now and into the future.”

 

 

President Schuckmann Named AWWA Life Member

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is recognizing NSWCA President and Hicksville Water District Commissioner William Schuckmann with the Life Member Award for numerous contributions to the water community. A leading authority in the industry in several capacities for decades, including his service with the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) Mr. Schuckmann has been an AWWA member for over 30 years.

“It is truly an honor to receive this Life Member Award from the AWWA,” said Commissioner Chairman William Schuckmann. “I have worked my whole life in the water industry, and this recognition is something I will cherish forever.”

Mr. Schuckmann’s career is studded with successes beginning with his time as a laborer at the Hicksville Water District. He advanced to foreman and in 1998 became Superintendent of the District which was established in 1921 and now serves some 48,000 people. As Superintendent, he was responsible for providing the Hicksville community with over two billion gallons of clean drinking water and managing numerous wells, 184 miles of water mains and over 1,600 fire hydrants. In 2014, Mr. Schuckmann, a Hicksville resident, was elected Water Commissioner the Hicksville Water District. He, along with fellow Hicksville Water Commissioners Karl Schweitzer and Nicholas Brigandi, have led the fight against emerging contaminants and 1,4-dioxane.

As President of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association, Mr. Schuckmann has taken a leadership role in communicating with and ensuring water delivery to 21 voter-elected water districts during the current the COVID-19 pandemic. A longtime active member of the Long Island Water Conference (LIWC), he has helped to direct the organization’s focus regarding coronavirus supplies.

“We are very proud of Bill and everything he has accomplished during his tenure at the Hicksville Water District,” said Commissioner Secretary Karl Schweitzer. “He has always been committed to bettering his community, and is well deserving of this recognition.”

Mr. Schuckmann has also been active in his community outside of the Water District. Since 1971, he has been a member of the Hicksville Volunteer Fire Department Rescue 8. He served as the Company’s Captain (1976-79 and again in 2015 and 2016), and rose to the ranks of Assistant Chief and Chief (1986-87). He has been elected to serve three, five-year terms as Fire Commissioner following his tenure as Chief. In sum, Commissioner Schuckmann has spent more than 49 years as a volunteer with the fire department. He also ran the Company 8 golf outing for 25 years which helped fund charities throughout the Hicksville community and, most recently, his efforts helped adopt families during the holidays to provide additional joy to deserving, in-need families. Mr. Schuckmann also serves on the Board of Directors for the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and is a past president of the Hicksville Rotary Club in 2001 and 2006.

“Bill is definitely deserving of this recognition from the American Water Works Association,” said Commissioner Treasurer Nicholas Brigandi. “He has given almost 50 years to the water industry and we are so proud on how hard he works every day to ensure our water’s safety.”

Commissioner’s Father Passes

NSWCA Members:

It is with heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of Oyster Bay Water Commissioner Bob McEvoy’s Father, Mr. Robert P. McEvoy.  He died peacefully at home on Saturday night.

Services: DeVine Funeral Home, 293 South Street, Oyster Bay.

  • Tuesday 6/23: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 6/24: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass: St. Dominic Catholic Church, 93 Anstice St., Oyster Bay NY

  • Thursday 6/25 at 10:30 a.m.

Please keep Bob and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Ordway on Backflow

Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association Meeting Examines New Technology: Industry Expert Josh Ordway Leads Presentation

Carle Place, New York, USA . . . As part of an on-going Educational Speaker Series, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), which represents 21 voter-elected Long Island water districts, met for a presentation on water backflow automation by VEPO Solutions, of Elmsford, New York.

Backflow within potable water systems is a serious, undesirable condition where pressure drops can accidentally allow water to flow back into the water distribution system, opening the potential for pollutants to enter. Mr. Josh Ordway, VEPO Solutions Vice President Marketing and Sales, led the discussion stressing the importance of water backflow management and control of such possibilities. VEPO’s CrossConnex product and service offerings represent green solutions that are expressly designed to fully automate and improve backflow management programs within Long Island water districts.

A recognized backflow expert, Mr. Ordway described how this advanced technology enhances and improves existing backflow management programs and also helps to ensure full compliance with all Nassau/Suffolk County regulations, as well as the Safe Water Drinking Act. Most importantly, this technology aids in protecting the health and safety of water consumers, by preventing both chemical contamination (i.e. sodium hydroxide, insecticides, etc.) and bacterial contamination (i.e. typhoid, dysentery, salmonella, etc).

Photo: Left to Right: NSWCA Secretary Patricia Peterson of the Locust Valley Water District; 1st Vice President Amanda Field of the Plainview Water District; NSWCA President William Schuckmann of the Hicksville Water District; NSWCA Treasurer Lawrence F. Zaino Jr. of the Carle Place Water District;2nd Vice President John F. Coumatos of the Bethpage Water District.

Photo Credit: PP Stanco, PMG

NSWCA President and Hicksville Water District Commissioner Mr. William Schuckmann commented, “as an Association that represents over 620,000 consumers, we are dedicated to understanding and implementing new environmentally safe and green solutions in our water distribution systems. We were very pleased with the presentation conducted by Mr. Ordway. The technology reviewed is highly important to all our member districts as we seek to improve safety, while also pursuing cost savings and greater efficiencies. We thank VEPO for sharing their time and knowledge.”

Photo: NSWCA President William Schuckmann of the Hicksville Water District

Photo Credit: PP Stanco, PMG

Keeping Long Island’s Water Flowing

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyday life the world over, and Long Island water providers have met the challenge without exception since the terrible virus first appeared on these shores. The members of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), which consists of 21 voter-elected water districts, have kept the water flowing to over 620,000 consumers without interruption and in compliance with all local, federal and state regulations.

Bill Schuckmann NSWCA President and Patricia Peterson NSWCA Secretary

Long Island’s public water supply remains unaffected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization have confirmed that the COVID-19 virus is not waterborne and that the standard disinfection done by water suppliers as regular practices are an effective method for inactivating the COVID-19virus. Still, one important aspect has changed.

“I believe this pandemic is rewriting the dictionary on the definition of the word hero,” Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) President Bill Schuckmann commented. “It certainly fits all those on the front lines, the medical personnel, EMTs, police, firefighters and now also water technicians, field crews, supervisors and engineers – who are considered essential service providers.  They aren’t ordinarily thought of as heroes, but they are men and women who have risen above the call of duty, braving the dangers of this devastating pandemic on behalf of the public we serve.”

Mr. Schuckmann, who is also a Hicksville Water District Commissioner, stated, “I am proud of each and every one of our service men and women from all our Districts, and I am grateful for their efforts.”

Fortunately, there have been no issues in carrying out the operations of supplying water to homes and businesses or to firefighting in the communities serviced by the NSWCA.

Gary Brosnan, South Farmingdale Water Commissioner

“Though the suddenness of the pandemic caused water providers to adapt our existing emergency procedures and protocols, our voter-elected commissioners and the superintendents throughout our member districts were able to deploy revised safety plans quickly and effectively”, Gary Brosnan, South Farmingdale Water District Commissioner and NSWCA member commented. “Implementation began without a hitch and has continued smoothly, which is a tribute to being proactive and to having a solid plan in place to begin with.”

The adaptations proved highly successful. Through its public access website, www.nswcawater.org, the NSWCA posted and continues to post urgent news and updates about COVID-19, stressing District response and compliance. NSWCA meetings and trainings are now held virtually. Communications between all 21 commissioner-run Districts continue regularly through conference calls and emails. More information was posted on the NSWCA intranet section regarding supply chain, rescheduling of meetings, ongoing communications and most importantly, safety of the work force.

While all commissioner-run District offices have been closed to the public and all home visits put on hold except for emergencies, providing water around the clock still requires 24/7 supervision. That, in turn requires trained professional people. Safety precautions were detailed and communicated to all workers in all member Districts in both Nassau and Suffolk, ranging from hygiene regulations to social distancing to mandatory usage of masks and gloves.

“While work plans remained up to the individual Districts, the NSWCA advised on different kinds of split shifts and staggering work times, as well as working from different locations,” added Commissioner Patricia Peterson, Locust Valley Water District Commissioner and NSWCA Secretary.

“It’s not over yet,” President Schuckmann stated categorically. “No one can predict when this situation will end, and there is a high probability that some form of the coronavirus may return in the fall. If it does, the NSWCA and the other Long Island water suppliers will be prepared with refined regulations, deeper stocks of chemicals and disinfectants, and a battle-tested program of protocols and procedures to continue to deliver an uninterrupted supply of water to residents and businesses.”