There was a wide range of water safety topics discussed at the Fourth Annual Healthcare Symposium, ”Is Your Water Safe Enough? What You Need to Know” on Friday, November 18, 2016, in the Prusmack Center.
A panel of experts educated residents about the safety of water for drinking and recreation. While public water is highly regulated, they said homeowners with private wells should test their water frequently.
Dr. Daniel Miller, Water Supply Program Manager with the Rockland County Department of Health, also cautioned that water filters should be used properly. He explained that activated carbon filters that fit into a pitcher or onto your faucet work by absorbing contaminants to a site on the carbon. “And when you saturate all those sites, they start releasing all those contaminants back into the water. That’s why it’s extraordinarily important – and a lot of people just don’t do it – to change those cartridges.”
As far as the safety of the Hudson River for recreation, Dr. Andy Juhl, a Lamont Associate Research Professor with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said although the Hudson River is cleaner that it was years ago, there is room for improvement. “A typical location of the Hudson would still have unacceptable water quality because of sewage contamination about one out of every five days,” he said. He stressed that the tributaries of the Hudson River are actually more contaminated than the Hudson, and the Sparkill Creek is among the worst
Other panelists included: Dr. Steven Chillrud, Senior Doherty Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Hon. Harriet Cornell, Rockland County Legislator; and Dan Shapley, Water Quality Program Director, Riverkeeper. The program was moderated by the former Health Commissioner for Rockland County, Dr. Joan Facelle.
“We are asked to be good stewards of our water supply so that our water can remain safe for generations to come,” said Dr. Facelle as she concluded the program. “ We need to continue to work on conservation, on monitoring and testing, regulation and enforcement, ongoing research and improved infrastructure, so that we can ensure a safe supply in the future.”