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Board of Commissioners

Marc B. Laykind
Marc B. Laykind

Andrew N. Bader
Andrew N. Bader

Amanda Field
Amanda Field

Stephen Moriarty, P.E.


PWD Pinhole Update

Dear Neighbor,

We value the opportunity to work for you. Your board is dedicated to communicate with you, our comprehensive plan and steps taken by the Water District in response to the pinhole leaks reported to date. While numerous water suppliers have experienced pinhole leaks, the Water District recognizes and understands our customers are experiencing reported leaks, which is very concerning to us. It is unquestionable that our water is safe to drink. Regardless the Water District is taking a systematic approach to gather data, inspect homes and analyze all facets of why this problem is affecting our District.

There are multiple factors that can contribute to pinhole leaks and it is a complex issue that affects homes throughout the country. Many of these factors take years, if not decades to manifest and cause a change.

Although, there is no current standard for Alkalinity in drinking water the District has taken proactive steps to raise the Alkalinity as a possibility to minimize the pinhole leaks. This was done with Nassau County Department of Health approval over the last few months. The District also treats its water to a PH level of 8 which is considered neutral in the industry.

The District is currently engaging the assistance of a third party material corrosion expert to work with us to narrow down a possible solution to this issue. We have our staff working on pinholes a significant part of the time and have tasked multiple resources on trying to understand the breadth of the issue.

If any customers experience pinhole leaks it is advised that you contact a licensed plumber to make the necessary repairs and fill out the District survey. District surveys were mailed out to all of our approximately 10,500 customers. Surveys can be found on our website or can be obtained at the District office.

The Water Districts in Nassau County are regulated by the Nassau County Health Department, New York State Health Department, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even though our drinking water meets or exceeds State and Federal regulations your board and new superintendent remains committed, will continue to take action and work tirelessly on your behalf.

Respectfully Yours,
Your Board

Responsive Timeline

What We Know
There are multiple factors that can contribute to pinhole leaks and it is a complex issue that affects homes throughout the country. Many of these factors take years if not decades to manifest and cause a change.

What We Know based on the data collected via surveys and inspections we know the following:
  • 80% of the leaks are in Hot Water Pipes
  • No clustering around Well Sources, Developments, Residential/Commercial is apparent
  • New and Old piping is affected
  • Leaks may have been occuring over 15 years or more
  • Multiple Possible Contributing Factors
    Some factors evaluted at this time are:
  • Treatment Chemicals
  • (influencers: Chlorine,Lime,Tablet Chlorinators, Alkalinity)

  • Distribution of Maintenance
  • Stray Current
  • (influencers: 60% of inspections had stray current)
  • Well Selection
  • (influencers: Volatile Organic Compound Removal. Volatile Organics in our well have caused the District to make treatment decisions and selection of alternate wells.)
  • Hot Water Heat Maintenance Anode Replacement
  • (influencers: inspections have identified significant number of the leaks are found within feet of the hot water heater.)

    PWD Pinhole Pilot Leak Program

    The Plainview Water District (PWD) in response to the pinhole issue affecting a number of our residents has undertaken a pilot leak program to attempt to determine the contributory factors of pinhole leaks which have been found within the District. In the past, PWD has taken the position not to undertake the assessment of internal plumbing, electric or general upkeep of the infrastructure of the homes within the district. Departing from this position in this instance, this program will allow us to enter homes by appointment in an attempt to document the pinhole leaks as well as gather data surrounding the leaks. The Board has undertaken this program due to the potentially large number of complaints that have recently been brought to our attention.

    Please understand and realize this issue is not unique to Plainview, Long Island or New York State. It is a nationwide issue. While the District maintains the water we provide meets or exceeds all state and local standards, the Board has decided to move forth with the following:

    1. PWD is actively seeking data as to the locations of the affected homes. Originally, we had only 15 documented cases of pinhole leaks. We have recently met with residents who have provided additional data which is being compiled and will be included as part of the program.

    2. A survey form will be posted on the website, www.plainviewwater.org, advising of our need to collect data. We ask that affected residents fill out the survey and return it to the District as soon as possible.

    3. The District, when necessary, will be contacting customers who have notified the district of a pinhole leak to collect additional information and/or make arrangements for a possible inspection.

    4. The data will be compiled by the District and forwarded to our engineers for further review.

    5. Results of the program will be provided to the public.

    The District understands that affected residents have incurred damage to their homes and considerable expense as a result of pinhole leaks. Therefore, in an effort to assist our residents, we have undertaken this program. It should be noted, while this problem appears to be occurring in a significant number of homes, the percentage currently affected is less than 2 percent.

    Please be aware that our water meets all local, state and federal requirements (including limits for pH and chlorine). The District utilizes calcium hypochlorite (chlorine) and calcium hydroxide (lime) for disinfection and pH adjustment respectively. Additionally, there are numerous studies and writings which have determined additional contributors to be:

    Improper ground to copper pipe
    Stray electric from utility pole entering the home via water pipes
    Sacrificial anode within hot water tank beyond its useful life, requiring replacement.
    Interaction of dissimilar metals
    Plumbing workmanship and installation techniques

    Please bear with us as we undertake this program to assist our residents. If you should have further questions, please contact the office at 516-931-6469.


    Pinhole Leak Data Collection Survey available online. Please Click Here to take the online survey

    Pinhole Leak Data Collection Survey
    is available for download by
    Clicking Here

    (Must have Adobe Reader)

    Pinhole Leak Data Collection Survey
    Also available at District office.

      Administrative Office: 10 Manetto Hill Road, Plainview, New York 11803     Phone (516) 931-6469     Fax (516) 931-8683     E-mail: customerservice@plainviewwater.org