In the near future, Rocklanders may be getting a portion of their drinking water from the Hudson River.
United Water—which serves about 270,000 residents throughout Rockland—announced Wednesday that the Haverstraw Water Supply Project is one step closer to being realized. United Water officials said New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has noted United Water's draft is complete and ready for review, questions and comments.
The project, which aims to install a Hudson River pumping station, treatment plant and water main in Haverstraw, has not been approved, however—only moved forward. The next step in the process is public review, explained Steven Goudsmith, a spokesman for United Water.
Two public hearings will be held at Haverstraw Town Hall on Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The project came about per a state order. Rockland's demographics are growing at a quick pace, officials said, and by 2015, the population may outstrip the supply of water. The solution? Build the plant and dip into the Hudson.
"This is a very positive step forward for the Haverstraw Water Supply Project," said Michael J. Pointing, United Water’s vice president and general manager. "It means that the residents of Rockland County are closer to getting a much needed new water supply."
Pointing added that the plant is a necessity, and that using the Hudson River as a water source costs less—and is better for the environment—than constructing a new reservoir or wastewater resuse facility.
Drinking water concerns are not new to the area—recent studies have uncovered –but Pointing said Department of Health studies prove river water can "be purified to meet or surpass all safe drinking water standards."
"In fact, water produced at the pilot site is as good as or better than what customers are consuming today," he added.