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Water Advisory Committee focuses on test site selections

JULIE LANE PHOTO Water Advisory Committee chairman Ken Pysher wants nitrogen testing to be done in the Center.

JULIE LANE PHOTO Water Advisory Committee chairman Ken Pysher wants nitrogen testing to be done in the Center.

The Water Advisory Committee is still in the planning stages for expanded testing to be done by the United States Geological Survey.Monday night, members discussed where the USGS might best conduct tests for saltwater intrusion into wells.

There’s also a need to identify sites for water quality testing that will concentrate primarily on nitrogen, according to Committee Chairman Ken Pysher.

The committee needs more information from the USGS about its general strategy to make the best choices about test sites, Mr. Pysher said.

The saltwater tests need to be done on town-owned properties, since private site owners are likely less willing to cooperate, Mr. Pysher said.

He suspects there are homeowners who have salted wells, but don’t want to make it public.

The critical areas for such testing are in peninsula areas that are more susceptible to problems with salting.

As for the nitrogen tests, Mr. Pysher would like one of the sites to be in the area of Shelter Island School where the density is high and there are likely to be more problems.

In the peninsula areas, water quality is probably better because it gets flushed out on a regular basis, he said.

Mr. Pysher also wants to know the depth of the aquifer at various points and how today’s numbers might compare with those done in the 1970s.

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