Tag Archives: Nassau Suffolk water Commissioners’ Association

Patricia Ramirez and Donald P. Irwin

As part of its ongoing Educational Series, theNassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association recently welcomed Nassau County Department of Health, Office of Water Supply Engineering, Director Patricia Ramirez, P.E. as guest speaker. Ms. Ramirez was joined by Nassau County Department of Health, Environmental Health Director Donald P. Irwin. The NSWCA commissioners received a detailed presentation on the very current topic of “Emerging Groundwater Contaminants”.

Commissioners William Costigan, Michael Kosinski and Dr. Sanford E. Klein of the Roslyn Water District sponsored the meeting.

Ms. Ramirez’s opened her engaging presentation by defining the nature of the term ‘emerging contaminants’. This provided details on the ongoing search for emerging contaminants, how they are found as well as potential health effects. Ms. Ramirez reviewed federal and NYS water standards in detail, including standards for 1,4-dioxane, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). A number of potential treatment methods were discussed in detail including Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC), Ion Exchange Resins and high pressure membranes.

NSWCA President and Oyster Bay Water Commissioner Michael F. Rich III, noted, “Director Ramirez provided an insightful landscape of governmental regulation and interaction. Given the amount of media attention devoted to understanding, treating and eliminating emerging contaminants such as PFOS, PFOA and 1,4-dioxane, Ms. Ramirez’s presentation could not be more current. We, the NSWCA Commissioners and water suppliers, agree on the need for more scientifically based education and closer comprehensive cooperative action between government and water suppliers. This we feel is the best course of action for all Long island residents and for our environment. We thank Ms. Ramirez for her stimulating presentation, and both Ms. Ramirez and Mr. Irwin for their insights in the ensuing Q&A session.”

Photo left to right: Nassau County Department of Health, Office of Water Supply Engineering, Director Patricia Ramirez, P.E; NSWCA President Michael F. Rich III, Nassau County Department of Health, Environmental Health Director Donald P. Irwin.


Photo left to right: William Schuckmann, NSWCA 1st Vice President and Hicksville Water District Commissioner; Lawrence F. Zaino Jr, NSWCA Treasurer and Carle Place Water District Commissioner; Amanda Field, NSWCA Secretary and Plainview Water District Commissioner; Kenneth P. Wenthen Jr., NSWCA 2nd Vice President and West Hempstead Water District Commissioner; Guest Speaker Nassau County Department Director of Health and Office of Water Supply Engineering Patricia Ramirez; Director of Environmental Programs for the Nassau County Department of Health Donald P. Irwin; and Michael F. Rich III, NSWCA President and Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner.



Welcome New & Returning Members!

It happens every fall and 2018 was no exception.

Michael F. Rich III

The greatest American institutional process was once again put into play on December 11, 2018 as voters went to the polls in record numbers to elect water commissioners in 21 districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The NSWCA welcomes the new and selected men and women and wishes them well in their respective positions. Each newly elected or re-elected commissioner will serve a three-year term beginning January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2021.

NSWCA First Vice President and Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner Michael F. Rich III commented on the election results. “With the election process being hyper-local and so close to the community, the vote of each individual truly counts,” he said. “I am extremely pleased to welcome both our new colleagues and returning colleagues to NSWCA. Commissioner-run water districts enable all registered residents to express their personal preferences for the men and women of their choice at the ballot box through the voting process. It also helps ensure that present day economic goals as well as longer term goals such as conservation, sustainability and aquifer health are truly reflective of the mindset of all 21 communities.”

The NSWCA congratulates the following Long Island water district new elected and re-elected commissioners on their three-year term election:

  • Howard Abbondondelo, Albertson Water District, Re-elect
  • John F. Coumatos, Bethpage Water District, Re-elect
  • Italo J. Vacchio, Carle Place Water District, New elect
  • Glenn Barnett, Cathedral Gardens Water District, Re-elect
  • Madeline Presta, Franklin Square Water District, Re-elect
  • Chris Engel, Garden City Park Water District, Re-elect
  • James M. Logan, Greenlawn Water District, Re-elect
  • Karl M. Schweitzer, Hicksville Water District, Re-elect
  • Thomas A. Abbate, Jericho Water District, Re-elect
  • Peter Brown Locust Valley Water District, New elect
  • Patricia Peterson, Locust Valley Water District, New elect
  • Louis P. Savinetti Locust Valley Water District, Re-elect
  • Brian Morris, Manhasset-Lakeville Water District, Re-elect
  • Francis J. Flood. Massapequa Water District, New elect
  • Richard Niznik, Oyster Bay Water District, Re-elect
  • Andrew Bader, Plainview Water District, Re-elect
  • David Brackett, Port Washington Water District, Re-elect
  • Michael Kosinski, Roslyn Water District, Re-elect
  • John Hirt, South Farmingdale Water District, Re-elect
  • Joseph Perry, South Huntington Water District, New elect
  • Joseph Marando, West Hempstead Water District, Re-elect
  • Rodney Caines, Westbury Water District, New elect
  • Barry Green, Westbury Water District, New elect
  • Bernard McCabe, Glenwood Water District, Re-elect (not pictured)

 There are three water district commissioner positions in each district. District residents vote for one of the three commissioner positions each year. Due to the passing or resignation of commissioners in 2018, the Locust Valley Water District and the Westbury Water District had elections for more than one commissioner seat.

Commissioner Pat Eliseo Locust Valley WD

Locust Valley WD Commissioner Pasquale J. “Pat” Eliseo has passed away at age 85.

Locust Valley Water Commissioner Pat Eliseo lived and worked in Locust Valley all his life, and honorably served his country in the U.S. Army in Korea during the Korean War. A member of the Locust Valley Board of Water Commissioners since 1997, Pat helped oversee the rapid growth and changes in the north shore communities that the District supplies, including Locust Valley, Lattingtown, and areas of Mill Neck and Matinecock. Commissioner Eliseo was also an active member of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), where he held various leadership positions, including the position of President.

With deep roots in the community, Pat was a volunteer member of the Locust Valley Fire Department for 65 years, including serving as Treasurer of its Emergency Medical Rescue Squad.  He also held the positions of Department Treasurer, Company Captain and District Fire Commissioner, and was a member of the Locust Valley Exempt and Benevolent Firemen’s Association.

Pat Eliseo’s community involvement was extensive. A charter member of the Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club, he was a member of the Matinecock Neighborhood Association, and served as Vice-President for over 20 years. He was also a member and past-president of the Locust Valley Rotary Club and a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow, the organization’s highest award.

In his business life, Pat was well known and respected as the proprietor of Marquis Wines and Liquors for over 30 years.  His guidance, professionalism and good humor will be missed.



NSWCA Bartilucci Scholarship

The NSWCA Nicholas J. Bartilucci Scholarship:  

Smart Thoughts For Smart Students.

 Body: There is a $1,000 scholarship available for a worthy engineering student at Manhattan College. Sponsored by  your District as a member of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), the scholarship honors the late Nicholas J. Bartilucci. Mr. Bartilucci was not only a founding member and past President of the NSWCA, but a thought leader whose insights, experience and technical engineering expertise were highly valued throughout the industry.

The annual scholarship is open to entering freshmen enrolled full-time in any engineering degree program at Manhattan College. Emphasis is placed on academic credentials and extra curricular activities.

Potential applicants must reside in one of the 21 NSWCA memberwater districts (see http://www.nswcawater.com). The student awardee will be selected by the college upon verification of residency by the NSWCA.

To apply, please contact Mary Ellen Malone, Director of Planned Giving, at Manhattan College: 718-862-7976.



Mr. Nicholas Bartilucci







Senator Elaine Phillips Speaks at NSWCA Meeting

Left to right:
NSWCA 1st Vice President Michael F. Rich III (Oyster Bay Water District Commissioner).
NSWCA Treasurer Lawrence F. Zaino Jr. (Carle Place Water District Commissioner);
New York State Senator Elaine Phillips;
2nd Vice President William Schuckmann (Hicksville Water District Commissioner);
NSWCA Secretary Kenneth P. Wenthen Jr., (West Hempstead Water District Commissioner.

Senator Elaine Phillips, New York State Senator from the 7th Senate District, recently addressed the NSWCA with her thoughts and opinions on a variety of water-related topics. Speaking in front of a full house, she reiterated that ensuring that Long Island water resources remain safe for current residents and future generations is now, and has always been, a top priority of hers.

“I consider myself one of the most environmental Senators from New York, and environmentalism is part of my platform,” commented Senator Phillips. “Drinking water is a necessity, not a luxury.”

The Senator noted that 1,4-dioxane is at unprecedented levels across the country, and particularly right here on Long Island.  She pointed out that there is state funding coming into Long Island, and that some Districts have already received funding for treatment in 2017.

Senator Phillips also touched on the reactivation of the Queens wells, noting that this presented a serious threat to Long Island’s aquifers, a threat that Long Islanders “should not and must not accept.”  The wells, dormant for many years, pose threats to affect Long Island’s groundwater in unknown and potentially dangerous ways including allowing saltwater intrusion or diverting of underground toxic plumes.

Senator Phillips commented that she believed the most responsible course of action is to delay any re-permitting until the current groundwater study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Nassau and Suffolk counties is completed.  Only then can we be certain of the impacts that the re-opening of the Queens wells will have on our region’s groundwater.

Who’s The Best? 2018 Water Taste Contest!

It’s that time again!

AWWA Drinking Water Week* means Long Island’s contest to see who will take home the trophies for “Best Tasting Water” 2018 will soon be in full swing.

Last year the South Huntington Water District was judged the best in Suffolk County, and the Franklin Square Water District was the proud winner in Nassau County.  Can they hold off all challengers and repeat?  Find out by participating in the annual event.

Sponsored by the LI Water Conference,  the Water Taste Contest will take place  May 7th  through May 10th  at the Campus Center at SUNY Farmingdale. The LIWC Public Relations Committee needs the help of all its members to assist in manning the informational display booth. All NSWCA member Districts are encouraged to participate and to volunteer.

*For more than 40 years the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Drinking Water Week is celebrated the first full week in May each year. Please join AWWA as we celebrate drinking water! This year the theme is “Protect the Source”.


NYS Comptroller DiNapoli Addresses Issues

Thomas DiNapoli

The Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association , as part of its ongoing Educational Training Series, recently held a training session with New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Mr. DiNapoli, a lifelong Long Islander and formerly NYS assemblyman from the 16th District, has served as New York State Comptroller since 2007.

Mr. DiNapoli opened his presentation with a discussion of the mission of the NYS Comptroller’s Office, and outlined the steps to understanding the audit process. These ranged from initial research and information gathering to corrective action plans and field services surveys.

Comptroller DiNapoli zeroed in on current situations including drinking water systems in New York State, and particularly on Long Island. He discussed the challenges all water districts face with aging infrastructure, stating “greater demand, increasing water loss, potential water system contamination and the need for increased security are serious problems facing us today. It is simply not enough to talk about environmental issues,” Mr. DiNapoli remarked, to much audience applause. “We need more long range planning, and we must take a more aggressive approach by making more dollars available to handle infrastructure needs.” He cited Governor Cuomo’s support of the Clean Water Infrastructure Act with funding for an Environmental Protection Fund to help support municipalities with modernized, sustainable water systems.

NSWCA President and Westbury Water Commissioner Vincent Abbatiello commented, “Comptroller DiNapoli’s presence and presentation was truly informative and enlightening. By providing NSWCA Commissioners, superintendents, and staff with an in-depth look into the specifics of water system management and oversight from the New York State perspective, the training certainly clarified a number of essential points. With growing public recognition of the vital importance and challenges of managing water infrastructure for present day and future use, this informative meeting could not have been more timely.”

Michael F. Rich III 1st Vice President, and Oyster Bay Water District Water Commissioner, NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Vincent Abbatiello NSWCA President and Westbury Water District Commissioner, Lawrence F. Zaino Jr. Treasurer, and Carle Place Water District Water Commissioner, William Schuckmann 2nd Vice President: and Hicksville Water District

Cybersecurity & Business Continuity Education

At a recent Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) meeting, the NSWCA received a thorough update on state of the art IT cybersecurity measures as they apply to the water supply industry and Long Island water suppliers.

Guest speakers Tim McKnight and James Tauer from Total Technology Solutions (Melville NY) addressed the commissioners. They explained that in 2018, “cyberthreats of all types have

become more rampant than ever before by an order of magnitude.”  According to Mr. Tauer, “in today’s world, we are faced with a case of managing risk and staying a step ahead of those who seek to damage systems and interrupt operations. Leading cyberthreats to water districts run the gamut. They can include social engineering and insider threats, malware, phishing and ransomeware like the cryptolocker virus. All of these types of hacking attack cybersecurity and can take a communications network down, or paralyze it or ultimately destroy it.”



The Total team speaks from experience as it represents several NSWCA member water districts on Long Island.

“Cybercrime is the second most reported economic crime in the USA,” Mr. McKnight commented. “In fact, 95% of breached records come from three vital sectors: Government, retail and technology. It’s a dangerous world, but fortunately, more than 90% of breaches are preventable.”

Areas of greatest risk for water districts include unpatched systems, remote access, and poor or weak infrastructure. Lack of password and/or permission management, absence of written policies and little or no staff training make it far easier for hackers to do their nefarious deeds.

Mr. Tauer cited examples of cybercrimes against water providers across the country, and explained essential measures necessary to guard against them and to ensure business continuity. Total’s Layered Defense, he said, “is specifically designed to counter cybercrime. It is comprehensive, overlapping and intentionally redundant to provide the broadest and deepest threat protection. It starts with physical Water District site surveying and network assessment and includes vulnerability scanning and awareness training.”

Mr. Tauer also cited the example of Kemuri Water Company (not its real name due to sensitive nature of breach). Hackers manipulated the chemicals used to assure safe drinking water, and altered water flow rates causing serious disruptions to water distribution.

A spokesman for the NSWCA commented that “we greatly appreciate the in depth information provided by Mr. Tauer and Mr. McKnight. Water Districts are highly visible cyber targets because of the essential services we provide. Cyber awareness training is vitally important to help maintain an uninterrupted supply of the highest quality water which is the responsibility of every one of the NSWCA member Districts.”

Thank You President Bader

Williston Park NY, USA……………………….The Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA) honored outgoing President Andrew N. Bader at a meeting sponsored by Albertson Water District Commissioners Richard Ockovic, Howard Abbondondelo, and Ken Vey.

Mr. Bader (Commissioner Plainview Water District) received the honorary award in recognition of his successful 2017 term as President of the NSWCA. Current  NSWCA President Vincent Abbatiello (Commissioner Westbury Water District), made the presentation, honoring Mr. Bader, citing his “outstanding service to the NSWCA and the ideals the organization represents throughout the course of his term.”

During said tenure Mr. Bader was responsible for directing the organization’s conservation and sustainability outreach and was instrumental in formulating the NSWCA’s position on 1,4 dioxane. In addition, Mr. Bader presided at the NSWCA Educational Series that featured the Irrigation Association of New York, Dr. Harold Walker, Professor and Chair of Civil Engineering at Stony Brook University and Co-Director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology, and Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety, Town Of Oyster Bay (NY) Leonard Symons on hurricane preparedness. President Bader, who also provided closing remarks at the 2017 LIWC Legislative breakfast, will continue to be active in the NSWCA.

Legislative Breakfast SRO

The LIWC Legislative Breakfast held on March 9, 2018 was a packed house, with standing room only for several dozen late arriving attendees. The NSWCA was well represented with commissioners from virtually all Districts and many District Superintendents in attendance.



After welcoming remarks by Chuck Savinetti, Chairman of the LI Water Conference and Locust Valley Water District Superintendent, and legislative agenda remarks by Port Washington Water District Superintendent Paul Granger, Keynote speaker NYS Senator Elaine Phillips gave her views on matters of vital importance to loud applause.





The opening and primary topic of the day was funding, including discussion of Drinking water infrastructure funding, as well as funding for NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Region 1 Water Division, and NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) Bureau of Water Supply Protection.

Other important topics discussed were monitoring well registration and water quality data sharing, clarification of the NYS Superfund law to financially protect public water ratepayers, and clarification of the One Call Notification System law.

Joe Roccaro, from Suffolk County Water Authority narrated a detailed discussion on 1,4-Dioxane followed by a lively Q&A session.


NSWCA President and Westbury Water Commissioner Vin Abbatiello, provided closing remarks and quips as he expressed appreciation for the meeting’s outstanding attendance.