Neighbors Feel Hosed By Water Tank

A 900,000-gallon water reservoir is to be built on a water authority parcel of land off Cross Highway in Amagansett. David E. Rattray

A plan for a 900,000-gallon water reservoir off Cross Highway in the Devon area of Amagansett has drawn the ire of several residents. The Suffolk County Water Authority was to have held a meeting at the Amagansett Library last night to discuss the plan. 

According to project documents, the 30-foot-tall tank, 90 feet in diameter, would be installed on an existing water authority pump site and “painted a shade of green designed to blend in with the surrounding environment.” The reservoir is intended to boost water pressure to water authority customers from East Hampton to Napeague. It would be about 40 feet from the Cross Highway roadside in the southeast corner of the site.

In a written description, the water authority said that it did not have to apply for permission from East Hampton Town. Steve Latham, a Riverhead attorney representing several of the project’s neighboring property owners, rejected that assertion. He said that only utilities specifically exempted by law are able to avoid town review.

Mr. Latham also faulted the water authority for keeping the project quiet until plans for it had been completed. Town officials were only notified in late March, he said. In addition, of the 14 nearby property owners, some had not seen a notice that the water authority said it had sent by mail.