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Water authority plans new wells in Water Mill

The Suffolk County Water Authority says it will install between two and four new groundwater wells in northern Water Mill over the next year.

The new wells, extending 200 feet into the aquifer, will be installed on a 5-acre property owned by the water authority off Blank Lane near the intersection with Farmstead Lane. A water authority spokesman said they plan to break ground for the new well next month and that the project will take approximately one year to complete.

Padraic South, director of public relations for the water authority, said the new wells have been made necessary by increasing demand as development in the area has ballooned in the last decade.

Along with drilling the new wells, the authority will also construct an approximately 600-square-foot building on the property to house the filtration equipment needed to treat groundwater before it is pumped to houses. The building will be 15-feet wide by 40-feet long and 18-feet tall.

Mr. South said the well installation and the design of the filtration building are taking into account the surrounding neighborhood and will be designed to minimize any impacts on nearby homes. The building will be designed to match homes in the area, he said, and will be well screened using native vegetation.

“We’re looking at doing submersible wells, so it’s more quiet, and we’re looking at different siding options to lessen the visual impact of the building,” Mr. South said, adding that the building will have a gabled roof and possibly false windows to avoid an industrial appearance. “We try to be a good neighbor.”

The first step of the project, coming sometime in early May, will be clearing the portion of the property where the wells will be installed. In a letter to neighbors sent by the water authority earlier this month, Chief Engineer Joseph Pokorny said several mature cedar trees that must be removed to make way for the wells will be moved to the edge of the property for use as part of the vegetative screening.

As a public utility, the water authority is exempt from local zoning restrictions and does not have to get site-plan approval or variances for the project from any town regulatory agencies.

The Suffolk County Water Authority serves more than 350,000 households and businesses throughout the county who use as much as 400 million gallons of water a day, the largest water supply system in the country that relies solely on groundwater.

michael wright

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