OAK BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents of a Long Island beachfront community are expressing concerns over the cost of a new water system that could dramatically increase their water bill.
According to the Town of Babylon, independent wells that serve Oak Beach residents violate sanitary code requirements and are vulnerable to contamination. Past testing detected the presence of bacteria and elevated levels of iron, copper and lead.
Facing the possibility of fines, the Babylon Town Board authorized construction of a new $3 million system to be designed by a Melville-based engineering firm H2M, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
Around 57 homes in the Suffolk County community will be affected by the change. The Town of Babylon estimates residents using the system will have to pay around $1,500 a year for water
On average, Suffolk County residents pay around $365 a year.
“Looks like I will be working to pay for my water,” Thomas Newman, of Oak Beach, said.
The DEC blames a patchwork system of pressurization, service line breaks and faulty sanitary seals for the issues.
“When they have breaks in the system, bacteria can get into the system and the people’s homes,” said Joseph Guarino, of the DEC of the Town of Babylon.
The new 3,000-gallon well water storage system will be located at the Oak Beach Community Center and will replace the current house-by-house water tank system.
Oak Beach resident John Warren called the new plan ‘unnecessary.’
“Well it’s going to be a lot of money,” Warren said. “And after Sandy most of us re-did our water systems.”
Despite steep costs to homeowners, town, county and state health officials believe they are being proactive.