Reducing drugs in Long Island drinking water sources: a public talk

Berkeley Springs, WV, February 11, 2015 — Efforts to reduce the prevalence of prescription medications in drinking water sources in Long Island will be showcased during an inaugural lecture at the 25th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting next week (on February 20, 2015 at 3 p.m.).

Thomas McAbee, executive director of Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Inc., will deliver the lecture, an inaugural Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture, addressing his group’s innovative efforts to tackle this difficult drinking water contamination issue.

Lloyd and Magothy are two fresh water aquifers that under-lie Long Island, New York. These aquifers, along with the upper glacial aquifer supply drinking water to nearly 3 million Long Islanders.

“In Suffolk County, we have approximately 77,000 private wells which are drilled into the shallow aquifers and 325,000 private septic systems which leach effluent into the groundwater. The groundwater eventually becomes part of the aquifers,” says Mr. McAbee.

The mission of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust is to eliminate prescription drug contamination in this area’s drinking water.

The Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture was established by the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) in memory and recognition of Alan A. Leff, Ph.D. who passed away in 2013 and who spent a significant portion of his career working in the water industry. Dr. Leff was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned his B.S in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s and PhD in Fuel Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

“The vision for these educational presentations is to provide a forum for experts from around the globe to discuss water-related subjects. For example, topics could include human hydration needs and the role water plays in cognitive performance, or new technologies to manage water resources. In addition, a representative from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) might speak on managing municipal supplies and the challenges faced as the global population becomes more intensely urbanized,” says DWRF Chairman Jack West.

“Alan spent a significant portion of his career in the bottled water industry and was an active supporter of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and DWRF. In addition, Alan was active with the Asia/Middle East Bottled Water Association (ABWA), the Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA), and several state and regional bottled water associations. At the time of his passing, Alan was Vice President of Quality and Production at Primo Water Corporation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

The Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture is part of a larger program, “Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe,” that will address pressing issues related to the world’s water supplies. A lineup of world-class speakers will delve into the following key topics related to the world’s waters, also speaking at the water tasting event on February 20, 2015:

    • Jack West, President and founder of Puro Water Group and chairman of the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF), will give a lecture on important bottled water facts to consider when discussing the restriction or banning of bottled water. Mr. West will also be the recipient of the International Water Tasting’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor will be formally announced during the program.
    • Michael Cervin, Sr., Editor at, will explain how the power of water can transform our psyche.
    • Angie Rosser, Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, will describe how the response to the 2014 West Virginia water crisis facts led to new protections of drinking water sources.
    • Henry R. Hidell, of Hidell International, draws on decades of international expertise in the water industry to outline implications of climate change on water.

There is no cost to attend the “Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe” seminar and attendance is encouraged for anyone interested in the important role that water plays in our lives. If you are not able attend the seminar in person, a free live webcast of the event will also be available. To watch this event via webcast, visit the (free) online media event and activities registration page, click here.

The Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture will take place at 3:00 p.m. on February 20, 2015 in the meeting rooms at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs, 110 S. Washington St., Berkeley Springs, WV.

Information regarding online media coverage of the Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture, and all of the day’s presentations, is available on

The award-winning 25th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the globe from February 19 to 22, 2015. Held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is the largest water tasting competition in the world.

For more information about the Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture Fund, or to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Fund, please visit the DWRF website.

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Media Contact:
Jack West
DWRF Chairman
[email protected]
(203) 994-0801

The Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) is an independent, not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 foundation that was established in 1984 by several members of the bottled water and point of use drinking water filtration industries. The mission of DWRF is:

    • To conduct research and disseminate information regarding the sources, evaluation and production of safe and affordable drinking water, including bottled water, tap water and filtered water, and the associated drinking water benefits related thereto.
    • To evaluate alternative techniques for production and delivery of drinking water under emergency conditions.
    • To educate the public and provide information regarding effective means for complying with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and related state and international laws and regulations.
    • To provide education to the public regarding drinking water quality, production and delivery.

DWRF remains dedicated to the continuous development of scientific research in areas of interest to consumers and the drinking water industry, including bottled water, tap water and filtered water. Co-located with and partially supported by the International Bottled Water Association in Alexandria, VA, the Foundation strongly supports tap water infrastructure and quality improvements: measures that may directly impact manufacturing process waters as well as the finished product quality of some utility-sourced bottled waters.

Scientific results obtained through DWRF-sponsored research projects are recognized nationally and internationally as important reference tools by which to make better informed policy decisions regarding drinking water. These sponsored projects and other scientific works, articles, and related news items are cited in this DWRF website to promote a better understanding of The Facts about Water.