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Letter To Editor - Thank You Smithtown Water Authority


Coldest Day of the Year Smithtown Water Authority Brought Science to My Door

During the Polar Vortex, a water main broke on the edge of my St. Nicholas Avenue driveway last Thursday.

As the temperature hovered in single digits; the wind chills plummeted.  It drove Smithtown to below zero temps.   

While sipping freshly made hot cappuccino, my own brew,  I peered out the front window of my formal dining room.   I noticed a puddle growing on the edge of my semi-circular driveway.  It caught my attention as I thought to myself – it’s far too cold for two parts Hydrogen and one-part Oxygen to be in a liquid form.  My aging and weary brain registered that the puddle should theoretically or scientifically be ice.   I immediately rang the Engineer husband as I didn’t want to disturb the twenty-seven year old Engineer son who specializes in liquids.   His clock registers three hours behind ours as resides in Hermosa Beach California with his beautiful new bride. 

The husband of thirty-three years had me descend the cold basement stairs to check our sprinkler system gage and house water gage to see if there was activity.  There was none – therefore our hypothesis was that the leak was coming from a town pipe juxtaposed to our property.

One call on the Smart Phone to the Smithtown Water Department and their Supervisor Raymond E. Martinbianco and his team were on the scene.  

They did not accept offers of hot cocoa or coffee but went to work and stayed in the freezing cold for hours until the situation was mitigated.  After decades of living with Bill Nye the Science guy and Son – I had a great interest in the engineering components of the job.  

The engineering feat played out as a roaring fire filled my wood burning stove and warmed the first floor of my modest home to a balmy 74 degrees.  I watched the men as they worked tirelessly in the unusually frigid weather.   In between the minutia of daily chores, I watched the job play out including observing the small crane that lowered a seemingly heavy rectangular part into the newly dug frozen ground.  

Quantitatively, it was quite an impressive feat to witness.  I was and continue to be very thankful for the fast action of The Smithtown Water Department.  

A contention for most Long Island taxpayers is the high cost of taxation.  After twenty-five years in the news business, I know it’s genesis and growth rise from hundreds of micro-governments and municipalities that punctuate both counties.  However, this Smithtown taxpayer is all good with her taxes – because I believe Smithtown is so incredibly well run.  

A terribly efficient series of systems work throughout our bucolic town – from Town Hall to our beaches and marinas to our snow-covered roadways trickling down to the Water Department.  I say we get a great bang for our buck – this aging Disco Queen rallies a big shout out and thank you to the Smithtown Water Department.  

I am not grateful because they fixed a problem adjacent to my home.  I am grateful because they quickly acted to solve a problem that had serious and dangerous potential.  I live in one of the highest points in Kings Park at the top of the Nissequogue River Valley (at the top of San Remo).  It was the coldest day of the year and Sir Isacc Newtons Theories of Motion, which are the basis for modern physics, were at play.       

When water arrives outside my home – it goes downhill – turns the corners and heads down St. Johnsland Road.   That spring of water had the potential to create ice.   It was a dangerous situation that was mitigated and culminated in a few hours on the coldest day of the year.  Thank you Mr. Supervisor, thank you Zach Rogienski, Matt Lush and Mike Iaia.  Efficiency isn’t deemed a Science but outside our humble home on the coldest day of the year – it transcended the vast and behemoth world of Science.  

Maureen Ledden Rossi 

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