Category Archives: News

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,, 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.”

Remembering Roslyn WD Supervisor

Tribute to Water Service Supervisor Bernard Murtagh – Gone but Not Forgotten – 5/7/2020

Barney Murtagh started working for the Roslyn Water District in 1977 and worked his way up to the position of Water Service Supervisor. He had the vast responsibility of assuring that over 17,000 residents received a safe and plentiful supply of drinking water each and every day. Over the course of his career, it was evident that his passion for his profession and helping others was and always will be an inspiration to us all.

“It was truly a pleasure working with Barney. His devotion to the District and compassion towards our staff was always apparent to me as he treated us more like family than co-workers,” stated Roslyn Water District Superintendent Richard Passariello. “He was always there when we needed him and always handled every situation the right way. In Barney’s retirement letter, he thanked the Board for the privilege of having been able to spend so much of his life at the Roslyn Water District, but we were the ones that need to thank him for his dedication and impeccable service for more than 30 years with us. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Barney, but more importantly, I’m blessed to have had him as a friend.”

Important Message from NSWCA and LIWC

Dear Long Island residents,

Foremost, we hope that everyone is staying safe and abiding by all health recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While this COVID-19 outbreak has changed much of our daily lives, it will not hinder our unbreakable spirit to better serve the communities we love.

Click here for the full PDF.

Urgent News About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The spread of the coronavirus represents an unprecedented situation. NSWCA member districts have been proactive in addressing the situation and in adhering to the conditions of the existing state of emergency for the public well-being.

Important Points:

  1. The virus is not waterborne.
  2. Your water supply is safe to use in all ways.
  3. Water flow, water pressure and water services are not affected or interrupted by this crisis.
  4. There is no need to stockpile bottled water.

Beyond water concerns, and for the public good:

  • It is imperative to be vigilant and to obey good hygiene practices. Please refer to the information and health messages from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggestions at
  • Monitor for and observe changes in all federal and New York State guidelines.
  • If you or family members are sick or showing signs of sickness including a cold, respiratory concerns, cough, fatigue or fever, stay home. Having one or multiple symptoms does not mean you have the virus.
  • Any person who has been told to self-quarantine must stay home.

Paying Water Bills:

This is a very stressful and difficult time for everyone within our community. Contact your local NSWCA member district for more information about public access.

Please observe all hygiene recommendations. We appreciate your cooperation in dealing with this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.


Meeting Cancellation

Dear NSWCA Member:

NSWCA has decided to cancel its meeting for Monday, March 16, 2020 out of an abundance of caution. Many organizations such as the LIWC and LICAP have canceled meetings and events in response to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

As of today, the World Health Organization (WHO)  has declared the coronavirus a pandemic.

Many of our members fall into the sensitive population category, so it would be sensible to cancel our meeting at this time.

In lieu of an in person meeting, we are looking at the possibility of setting up a conference call.

We will forward the conference call information, including date and time, in a separate email once we get it set up.

NSWCA Board of Directors

Jericho Dedicates Bartilucci Building

The distinguished accomplishments of one of New York’s leading experts on water supply, conservation and sustainability were further memorialized by a host of dignitaries with the official dedication of the Nicholas J. Bartilucci Administration Building Operations Complex, 125 Convent Road, in Syosset, New York, by the Jericho Water District (JWD).

The late Mr. Bartilucci, a Jericho Water District Commissioner for more than 45 years and a founding member and past President of the Nassau-Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association, was a recognized industry spokesperson whose expertise and leadership were relied upon by water providers, consumers and governments alike.

 Left to right:  Jericho Water District Commissioner James Asmus; Oyster Bay Town Council member Vicki Walsh; Oyster Bay Town Clerk Richard LaMarca; Jericho Water District Commissioner Patricia Beckerle; Jericho Water District Board Chairman Commissioner Thomas Abbate; Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino; Mrs. Joan Bartilucci; Jericho Water District Superintendent Peter Logan; Nassau County Legislator Josh LaFazan (18thLegislative District).

Late NSWCA President and Jericho Water District Commissioner, Nicholas J. Bartilucci.


Commissioner Thomas A. Abbate, Chairman of the Board of the Jericho Water District, hosted the ceremony and JWD Superintendent Peter Logan spoke on behalf of the District and Commissioners James Asmus and Patricia Beckerle.

The Reverend Michael T. Maffeo, Pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Church (Syosset, NY) gave a blessing as new signage marking the event was unveiled. Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino spoke and presented a proclamation to Mrs. Joan Bartilucci which cited her and Mr. Bartilucci’s contributions to the Long Island community and beyond.

Father Mike Maffeo, Joan Bartilucci  and Jericho WD Superintendent, Peter Logan.

Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (18thLegislative District) presented a citation from the Nassau County Legislature to Joan Bartilucci in memory of Nicholas J. Bartilucci noting “service to the community, neighbors and families, and in recognition of your leadership to enriching the lives of others.”

Former NY State Senator Carl Marcellino, Oyster Bay Town Councilwoman Vicki Walsh and Oyster Bay Town Clerk Richard LaMarca spoke, acknowledging the many contributions of Mr. Bartilucci during his long and storied career. Mr. Steven A. Fangmann, President of D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C., the Woodbury-based engineering firm founded by Mr. Bartilucci, presented a beautiful etched glass trophy award in the shape of a water droplet to mark the event.

50 Year DEC Timeline

The 50-year history of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) includes many impressive moments since its founding in 1970.  Click on the PDF to view the  highlights and environmental milestones.

View the PDF here.

Paul Tonna Sworn In

On January 7, 2020 Commissioner Paul J. Tonna was sworn in to his 3-year term as Water Commissioner with the South Huntington Water District.

Commissioner Tonna, who  originally came to the South Huntington Water District board in 2006 and was re-elected to the position on December 10, 2019, began his new term on January 1, 2020. He will serve through December 31, 2022.

Congratulations, Commissioner Tonna.

Left to right: South Huntington Water District Commissioner Paul J. Tonna and South Huntington Water District Commissioner Joseph Perry at swearing in ceremony.

Digital Provisions On Security

The NSWCA recently welcomed speakers Peter Noonan and Brian McCabe of Digital Provisions (Ronkonkoma, NY), a leading Long Island-based security integration company founded in 2000.  The pair provided an educational talk, discussing new ways to help secure infrastructure and to keep water district employees safe while on the job.

Mr. Noonan and Mr. McCabe described many new products and techniques, including video management systems, deployment of surveillance cameras, access control, one button lockdown and details of visitor management. They revealed potential applications for wireless technology cameras that can be viewed anywhere at any time from a Smartphone, Tablet or PC; thermal or infrared cameras for nighttime viewing; optical zoom cameras to monitor gauges, generators, RPZ valves and other high-value items; and text notifications when a failed entry attempt is made.

Training was a big component of the presentation. “Success in the security industry is measured in what situations do not happen or are prevented”, Peter Noonan stated. “Many companies install and move on quickly, which doesn’t necessarily solve the problem or lessen the threat. Beyond hardware, end-user training is critical to the success of the security system, and Digital Provisions trainers are dedicated to making a difference right from the beginning.”

“The security of our staff members and of our infrastructure are top priorities for all Association members,” said NSWCA President and Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner Michael F. Rich III. “Being able to see what is going on at remote locations from a centralized position in real-time is invaluable. We thank Peter and Brian for the detailed information provided and their ability to put it in proper perspective.”

Photo:  Left to Right:  Larry Zaino Carle Place Water District Commissioner and NSWCA Treasurer; Amanda Field Plainview Water District Commissioner and NSWCA Secretary; Kenneth P. Wenthen Jr., West Hempstead Water District Commissioner and NSWCA 2nd Vice President; Michael F. Rich III, Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner and NSWCA President;  Peter Noonan, Digital Provisions Vice President of Sales ; Brian McCabe, Digital Provisions Sales Manager.