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Shelter Island Water Advisory Committee wants more tests in neighborhoods

The Water Advisory Committee (WAC) wants to take another step in water quality testing.

On Monday members spent two hours “brainstorming” — their word — about what Island community should be next, and striving to answer other questions, including financing the venture.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services would do the testing; it would have to be determined how many tests could be processed and how long it would take.

Over time, the WAC would like testing throughout the Near Shore and Peninsula Overlay District that cuts a wide swath around the Island.

But that’s not a request the WAC can present to the county. There’s speculation the town might be able to get an agreement for 200 tests, but that number may be too high.

As for the area to be tested, it appears likely to be Montclair Colony, but not all of the residents there would be able to participate in the testing.

Unlike the first set of tests in the Center triangle, which focused on nitrates, these tests would be wide-ranging, with the Suffolk County conducting “full-spectrum tests” examining all contaminants, metals, pesticides, herbicides and PFAs, which are synthetic chemicals such as Teflon and household products and cosmetics.

Such comprehensive testing would be expected to reveal potability of drinking water, Town Engineer Joe Finora said, calling it a “better version” of what the Center triangle results could reveal.

The aim is to get funding for the tests through the Water Quality Improvement Advisory Board (WQI), which paid for the Center triangle testing.

Greg Toner, who serves on the WQI and is that committee’s representative to the WAC, repeated an earlier pledge not to support funding for any future testing unless all those who seek to participate agree to share their full results with the town.

No full results were given to the town from the Center triangle testing. What the town received was information about the number of tests done in various zones, but didn’t include house-by-house results.

Mr. Toner was the lone voice rejecting a resolution Monday that would ask participants if they would be willing to share their full data with the town. But it would not require full release of their results to participate.