Briella TomassettiJan 30, 2018, 6:33 pm

Glen Clove shuts down 2 drinking wells found with elevated levels of Freon 22

Officials say the contaminated water was not distributed to public


GLEN COVE— A Long Island city shut down some of its drinking water wells after officials found high levels of a potentially harmful chemical inside.

Higher than normal amounts of the chemical Freon 22 — a colorless gas normally used as a propellant or refrigerant — was found inside two of five drinking wells in Glen Cove. City officials assure the contaminants never got into the public water system.

"No water that had any contamination was ever distributed from our wells to the public so our water is 100 percent safe to consume," Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke said.

New York State prohibits any concentrations of Freon 22 greater than five parts per billion in its drinking water, although, much lower levels of the chemical have been detected in many public wells on Long Island. The amounts found in the two Glen Cove wells were greater than 8.2 parts per billion.

It's not clear exactly what health effects Freon 22 may have on humans but according to the state department of health, studies in laboratory animals have connected the chemical to nervous-system and heart problems. Mayor Timothy Tenke tells us the wells were closed as a preventative measure and that the water is safe to drink.

The city says the wells will be allowed to operate again once some of their filters are replaced.

“I would assume some time between late February and early March they'll be up and running again," Mayor Tenke said.

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