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Friday, October 24, 2014
Community News
Legislators, activists demand water study’s release
Brian Racow/Herald Life
Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg, fourth from right, front, led a July 16 protest at the Merrick water tower to call for the release of a draft study of a proposed public takeover of Long Island American Water. To Denenberg’s left was County Legislator Laura Curran. About 30 local residents joined them.

An engineer has completed a draft study on the feasibility of a public takeover of New York American Water Company, Inc., the water utility company that services the area, but the public has yet to see the document.

The draft study, which the Water Authority of Southeastern Nassau County commissioned, was finished by at least November 2013, according to John Reinhardt, the WASENC’s secretary and the Town of Hempstead water commissioner. The WASENC has not so far released the draft report, prompting protest in Merrick last week.

Nassau County legislators Dave Denenberg and Laura Curran and about 30 local activists staged a rally on July 16 at Merrick’s water tower, at Thelma Avenue and Jefferson Street, near Merrick Avenue Middle School, to demand that the WASENC publish the draft study.

What is the Water Authority of Southeastern Nassau County?

The WASENC is the latest iteration of a water authority — formerly the South East Nassau Water Authority — that the State Legislature created in 1991 to determine whether a public takeover of New York Water Service Corporation, the private company that provided water to the region at the time, made economic sense. Since 1991, Aqua America, Inc. took over New York Water Service Corporation, and then American Water Works Company, Inc. took over Aqua New York, Inc., the Aqua subsidiary responsible for the area. American Water Works now provides water to communities such as Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh, Seaford and Massapequa Park through its subsidiary New York American Water.

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