The spring at Cold Spring Harbor was reopened to the public Friday after public outcry by residents from all over Long Island.
Town of Huntington officials restored the hose that brought the spring water to the sidewalk. The hose was cut after the Suffolk County Department of Health Services ordered it closed, claiming the water was not safe to drink since it was not a regulated source.
“The health department regulates approved sources of drinking water, so when it comes to our attention that somebody’s using an unapproved source that’s not protected, it’s not approved,” said Grace McGovern of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. “It’s up to the town whether they want to approve it or not. But closing the spring has nothing to do with anything but public health.”
The boat club next door maintained it’s access through a private hose, creating even more anger among residents who frequent the spring.
After protesters went in front of the Town of Huntington board demanding the spring be reopened, Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said he had a planned meeting with the health department in early July to try to maintain public access to the spring water.
“We demand the town turn on the water for the public,” said Huntington resident Joe Oliva in front of a crowd of hundreds. “It’s like someone has reached into their souls, ripped something out of their lives. They can’t trust their government and that’s not right.”
The meeting has been canceled and the issue resolved–right above the newly opened spring reads a sign, “Water from this spring does not have the approval of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. Drink at your own risk.”