In response to alarmed inquiries from East Meadow neighbors who have found an ominous water testing directive hanging on their front doors, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes are advising residents that New York Water Solutions, the entity that has distributed the directive, is NOT affiliated with the Town of Hempstead Water Department. Further, officials are advising residents that tap water provided by the Town’s Department of Water is safe to drink and exceeds all federal and state standards for water quality.
An orange directive form from “New York Water Solutions Testing Department” (not a governmental entity) instructs neighbors to use a vial attached to the directive and “FILL” the vial with water, “COMPLETE & SIGN” a “study form”, “PLACE” the vial in an attached envelope, and “RE-HANG” the bottle on their front door for pick-up and testing. Tiny writing at the bottom of the form states NYWS is not affiliated with the “city health or water department”, despite the fact that East Meadow is not located in a city. Murray and Hudes said they believe the flyer is intended to look like a “governmental advisory”, and are concerned the notice could cause neighbors to be misled into thinking they may be required to complete the water test and potentially lead homeowners to purchase unneeded home water filtration equipment.
“I want neighbors to know that ‘New York Water Solutions’ is not affiliated with the Town’s Water Department, and that local drinking water is pure and safe to drink,” stated Murray. “I believe that the water testing directive placed on the doors of local homes by this private company could be misleading and cause neighbors to respond out of fear that drinking water is not safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Calls by town personnel to a company telephone number listed on the New York Water Solutions’ flyer resulted in a representative stating that New York Water Solutions “was a water testing company, and they offer home (water) filters.”
The Town’s Water Department expressed concerns that samples collected with the vials enclosed with New York Water Solution’s flyer would not be drawn in accordance with generally accepted water testing standards. In fact, the simple touching of the inside of the water vial’s cap with a human finger would contaminate the sample. Additionally, the sterilization of the source from which the water is draw is critical to accurate water testing. The officials pointed out that Hempstead Town conducts thousands of water tests each year and mails comprehensive test results to every homeowner served by the Town’s Water Department. Finally, officials stated that their Water Department’s tests evidenced that water provided by the Town Water Department exceeds state and federal standards for use.
“We don’t want neighbors misled into thinking that local drinking water is unsafe to drink,” stated Hudes. “Our Water Department also cautions neighbors that the water samples collected through the private company’s directive do not meet the town’s testing standards.”
Murray and Hudes are so concerned about the water testing directive distributed by New York Water Solutions that they have contacted the New York State Attorney General’s Office, asking for the Attorney General to look into the matter.
“The Town’s Water Department has received calls from neighbors asking if the water testing directive was from the town,” stated Murray. “We even had residents come in to our Town Water Department requesting that we test their water while they waited, suffering under the misapprehension that this water testing program was a town initiative. We want to make sure homeowners know that Hempstead Town is not conducting this door-to-door water testing program. Ultimately, I want to make sure that nobody purchases a home water filtration system based on a misapprehension that our Town’s Water Department is testing and/or recommending the purchase of such equipment.”