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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Roosevelt Island Drinking Fountain Water Quality Update - NYS Health Department Says Roosevelt Island Water Quality Meet All Applicable Standards Except For Capobianco Park - Currently, Drinking Fountains Will Stay Off But Blackwell Park Tot Lot Splash Area Will Be Turned Back On

As reported July 27:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Susan Rosenthal reported during the July 23 RIOC Board meeting that preliminary testing of Roosevelt Island water fountains revealed:
... some high levels, higher than EPA allows, of bacteria, not E-Coli, in some of them. One sample had elevated iron levels..

Island drinking water fountains have been shut off since July 6 after RIOC received a report from resident Frank Farance of possible contamination of the water supply to drinking fountains.

Image From Frank Farance
Minutes ago, RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson provided this update:
After reviewing a second round of Roosevelt Island outdoor drinking-fountain water test results, a top New York State health official, in a statement released Tuesday, said the water is up to standard.

“With the exception of Capobianco Park, the review of water quality results - analyzed the second time by a New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program certified laboratory (Long Island Analytical Laboratory Inc.,) are consistent with the water quality being delivered by the New York City water system and meet all applicable drinking water standards,” said Roger C. Sokol, Ph.D, director of the Division of Environmental Health Protection, NYS Department of Health.

Water test results of two fountains at Capobianco Field showed slightly higher (>738) than normal (500) levels of heterotrophic plate counts which is an indicator of low-chlorine residual. Chlorine is present in all NYC drinking water to reduce bacteria. However, no coliform or E. coli bacteria was found.

Due to citizen concerns raised about water quality in the Island’s drinking fountains, RIOC shut down the water supply systems in all parks and playgrounds on July 6 and conducted testing from 10 different fountains and one splash park location. RIOC conducted two independent tests of the water quality; one each by Healthy Buildings Inc. and Long Island Analytical, a New York State-certified laboratory.

The water samples were analyzed in three different categories: microbiological, inorganic analytes (metals) and physical factors; and included determining the existence of, and or levels of items such as bacteria, chloride, iron, lead and sulfates.

On July 23, RIOC hired a plumbing engineer, Cameron Engineering & Associates of New York, to complete an assessment of all water connection points from NYC water to Island parks’ distribution. Until RIOC receives that report and, if required, drafts a remediation plan, all the drinking water fountains will remain off. However, the NYS Department of Health has advised RIOC that the splash park area, near the tot lot play area at Blackwell Park, can be turned back on.

RIOC is planning to meet with Jeff Escobar, president of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, and other Island leaders, to discuss the results, answer questions and share potential further remediation plans.
More info at this July 25 post including Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) letter about the possible water contamination of Roosevelt Island drinking fountains and discussion of subject at Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee.