Sands Point's drinking water is supplied by the Sands Point Water District, one of 51 water districts in Nassau County. The water comes from four wells in Sands Point; a fifth well is kept ready on standby. The quality of Sands Point's water is very high, and is monitored and tested regularly by an outside laboratory. Each year, in March, a report on the quality of the water is sent to every resident, detailing the amounts of every constituent that State and County health departments require be measured. Sands Point’s water consistently surpasses State and County purity standards.
OUR DRINKING WATER SUPPLY
Drinking water in Sands Point, and on all of Long Island, comes from underground sources, called aquifers. The aquifers are supplied through the ground above them; water that falls on the ground (as rain, or runoff from a lawn sprinkler, for example) seeps down, undergoing a natural filtration process as it passes through the different layers of soil and clay and porous rock below the surface. It eventually reaches one of the underground streams, or aquifers, replenishing the drinking water supply. Until recently this natural process provided a seemingly boundless supply of pure drinking water for Long Island's household use. However, as more of the ground was covered by construction -- buildings, driveways, parking lots, roads, tennis courts and swimming pools -- the areas of natural ground cover which could absorb water diminished, eventually diminishing the size of the aquifers. At the same time, as more and more chemicals soaked into the ground along with water, from, for example, lawn fertilizers, these chemicals began appearing in minute quantities in the aquifers. As the size of the aquifers diminished, and the amounts of water pumped out of them increased with increased development, underground currents shifted, causing, in some cases along the shores, intrusion of salt water into these sources of freshwater.
WATER QUALITY, QUANTITY
Because Long Island's only source of drinking water is its groundwater, concern for its quantity and integrity became urgent. Many new laws and rules were established to protect the groundwater, but unfortunately, not before some wells in various parts of Long Island were tainted, and had to be closed. We in Sands Point are fortunate because our wells are still pure. The Village is doing everything in its power to keep them that way, and carefully monitors them to protect residents.
Concern about the diminishing size of the aquifers led the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to establish usage caps for all areas of Long Island in 1987. These caps were based on a prior five year average consumption. In Sands Point, the cap is set at 302,000,000 gallons a year. The Village government’s response to that cap was three-fold. It placed a temporary moratorium on installation of new automatic lawn sprinklers pending evaluation of their usage and required existing ones to employ rain sensors; set lawn sprinkling water use quotas for each resident with an automatic sprinkling system, and established staggered lawn-watering schedules; and increased water fees for sprinklers (which are on separate meters here). Village Police and Sands Point Water District employees enforce the rules. Residents who exceed their limit for lawn sprinkling water are first warned, and then, if necessary, their sprinkler water can be shut off. Through 1990, these restrictions kept Sands Point within its usage cap, so no limits have been imposed on any other water use.
The moratorium on the installation of new lawn sprinkler systems was lifted in 1991. The total water consumption in Sands Point for the years 1988 through 1990 has been well under the cap, but in 1991 there was a very substantial increase in overall consumption, exceeding the cap. Monthly consumption figures are closely monitored by the Village. Conservation is essential!
SANDS POINT WATER DISTRICT
The Sands Point Water District is overseen by the Village Board and the Village Trustee who is appointed Water Commissioner. The District is run by the Water Superintendent, who is appointed by the Village Board and paid through Village taxes. He and his staff keep the water flowing to your houses and backyards and the Village's fire hydrants, monitor its quality, and maintain the necessary pressure. Meters are read three times a year and bills go out in April, August, and December. They are due within 30 days. If they are not paid on time, a 10 per cent penalty charge is added. If for some reason your water bill has not arrived by the first of those three months, notify Village Hall.
The Sands Point Water District provides water mains to the street in front of each dwelling. If there is a break in a main, the Water District will repair it. The property owner is responsible for the pipes from the water main into the house.