A planned Navy water treatment facility along the Levittown-Seaford border has been given the green light by the Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA)
The Hempstead BZA voted to grant the Navy zoning immunity following a hearing this past Wednesday to construct six 20,000-pound Granular Activated Vessels enclosed within a 30-foot building on 670 Seamans Neck Road on land operated by Aqua NY. As a federal entity, the U.S. Navy was not subject to local zoning regulations but agreed to go before the Hempstead BZA to make sure the project was up to the town's standards.
The project will feature large-scale versions of home filtration systems shown to reliably remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from water. VOCs, which have been detected in area water recently, are chemical compounds based on carbon and hydrogen structures that are vaporized at room temperature and turn into an air contaminant.
The source of the VOCs is linked to the nearby former Northrop Grumman Corporation property in Bethpage, which the Navy used to own a portion of before it was closed in 2003. The Seamans Neck Road project, which the Navy is fully paying at an estimated $4.5 million, is aimed at improving drinking water for residents Aqua NY services in the northern sections of Seaford and Wantagh as well as the southeast tip of Levittown.
The Navy is planning to start construction of the full-scale long-term system at Aqua’s 670 Seamans Neck Rd. property in the spring with completion by next winter. The Navy is also hoping to construct an interim treatment system of three 20,000-pound Granular Activated Vessels by April. The site of the project is just north of East Broadway Elementary School.
"We are pleased to work with the town on this very important project and look forward to breaking ground," said Navy spokesman Tom Kreidel. "We're thankful to have had the opportunity to come up there and share our plans with the residents."
The Seamans Neck Road Plant was built in 1952 and currently features two wells operated by Aqua NY, a subsidiary of Aqua America that serves more than 152,000 residents in the New York City metropolitan area including Seaford and Wantagh as well as the southern section of Levittown. Aqua America announced last July that it was planning to sell all its regulated operations in New York to American Water Works for around $71 million.