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Clean Water Center Funds Fight Against Contaminants in Long Island

Chris Gobler

The Center for Clean Water Technology, housed at Stony Brook University, is awarding a total of $753,535 to local water districts to combat the rise of emerging water contaminants on Long Island.

Among the districts receiving awards including the Plainview and Greenlawn water districts, which will receive a combined award in the amount of $369,000; Suffolk County Water Authority which will receive $222,205; and Hicksville Water District, which will receive $162,330 in grant funding.

Chris Gobler
Christopher J. Gobler, right, with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

A joint venture between the top-ranked School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and the Department of Civil Engineering, the Center’s Team is comprised of senior faculty, full-time research scientists, and graduate students at Stony Brook University who are bringing cross-disciplinary expertise and equipment resources to the challenge of improving drinking water and wastewater treatment.

The Center’s thrust is to research, develop and commercialize more (cost-)effective solutions for removing nitrogen and other contaminants of emerging concern from both drinking water and onsite (i.e. household) wastewater, thus addressing the entire urban water cycle.

In October last year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $200 million in grant funding to assist communities in addressing federally unregulated contaminants in their drinking water such as PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane. Of the grant funding, $15 million has been awarded to communities already implementing innovative pilot technologies and system upgrades to treat these emerging contaminants.

With some of the nation’s highest concentrations of 1,4-dioxane — a widely used solvent that can be found in products such as adhesives and sealants — found in Long Island’s water supply, safe drinking water has become a critical public health issue. Stony Brook University’s Center for Clean Water Technology has dedicated its research efforts to developing methods that remove emerging contaminants such as PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane from Long Island’s drinking water supply.

“This initiative advance’s the Center’s mission to develop technologies that protect drinking water quality for New York citizens,” said Christopher J. Gobler, Ph.D., Endowed Chair of Coastal Ecology and Conservation in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University and Director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology. “We believe these pilot projects are an important step toward ensuring this likely carcinogen is effectively removed from public water supplies.”

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