Cesspools leach nitrogen directly into our groundwater which makes its way to the Great South Bay.

We advocate for cesspool replacement, whether from on site denitrification systems such as are now being certified by Suffolk County, or from sewering along Main Streets or in low lying areas where this approach is more applicable. There are over 400,000 cesspools and septic tanks in Suffolk County alone. We have two choices — Sewering or on site systems.

Septic Improvement Program Overview

(from Reclaim Our Water website)

Nitrogen pollution from cesspools and septic systems has been identified as the largest single cause of degraded water quality contributing to beach closures, restrictions on shell fishing, toxic algae blooms, and massive fish kills. Thousands of parcels are currently served by polluting cesspools and septic systems, but will never connect to a sewer system. Reversing degradation of water quality will depend on replacement of existing systems with new, individual Innovative and Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (I/A OWTS).

Over the past several years, Suffolk County has assertively set the stage for the transition to the use of these new systems. To make the cost of I/A systems — with an average total cost of $19,200, contingent on system requirements and site constraints — more affordable for homeowners, Suffolk County has developed the Septic Improvement Program. Under the Reclaim Our Water Septic Improvement Program, homeowners who decide to replace their cesspool or septic system with the new technologies will be eligible for a grant of up to $30,000 from Suffolk County and New York Stake to offset the cost of one of the new systems.

In addition to the grant, homeowners can qualify to finance the remaining cost of the systems via a loan, payable over 15 years at a low 3% fixed interest rate. The purpose of the loan is to provide “gap” funds to finance the difference between the grant to be provided by Suffolk County and the contract amount needed to install the replacement septic system. Financing up to $10,000 is available.

Grant Eligibility:

  • The residence cannot be connected to a sewer system or located within a proposed sewer district
  • Documents such as copies of the property deed, the most recent homeowner’s insurance policy statement, most recent property tax bill, and Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Income verification for applicants wishing to apply for the LMI grant (Federal Adjusted Gross Income based on most recent tax return)

Click here for full eligibility criteria.

Learn more about the Septic Improvement Program, application requirements, and I/A OWTS installation costs.

 

Visit Reclaim Our Water for more info.

*Image credit: Newsday

New York and New Jersey: A Bridge to Success.  We are all deeply connected to the waters we share

New York and New Jersey: A Bridge to Success. We are all deeply connected to the waters we share

Before founding Save The Great South Bay, in 1999 I married and moved to Northern New Jersey.  Having been a lifelong Long Islander and a huge Great South Bay fan I was immediately immersed in the New Jersey Raritan Bay for striper fishing, my favorite hobby.  In...

Is Long Island At A Turning Point Re: Nitrogen Pollution?

Is Long Island At A Turning Point Re: Nitrogen Pollution?

Long Island is about to replace its cesspools and septic tanks. Nassau County has 140,000, Suffolk 360,000. Suffolk intends to launch a pilot program that will deploy 400 units over the next two years. Albany is chipping in with $2 billion to address the issue at scale. Yet more will be needed, but everyone, seeing the problem, is stepping up. At the same time that we do this, we need to stop polluting our waters with lawn fertilizer and pesticides.

Is Long Island At A Turning Point Re: Nitrogen Pollution?

LINAP: Is Long Island At a Turning Point?

Long Island is about to replace its cesspools and septic tanks. Nassau County has 140,000, Suffolk 360,000. Suffolk intends to launch a pilot program that will deploy 400 units over the next two years. Albany is chipping in with $2 billion to address the issue at scale. Yet more will be needed, but everyone, seeing the problem, is stepping up. At the same time that we do this, we need to stop polluting our waters with lawn fertilizer and pesticides.

Route It South — Bring Sewering To Low Lying Areas Near The Great South Bay, and Maybe Bring Back Oystering

Route It South — Bring Sewering To Low Lying Areas Near The Great South Bay, and Maybe Bring Back Oystering

DID YOU KNOW THAT THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF CESSPOOLS AND SEPTIC TANKS ARE SEEPING NITROGREN INTO OUR GREAT SOUTH BAY…?

 

THAT NITROGEN HAS ALL BUT WIPED OUT OUR SHELLFISHING INDUSTRY BY TRIGGERING MASSIVE ALGAL BLOOMS.

 

IF WE CAN REPLACE THE CESSPOOLS CLOSE TO THE BAY WITH SEWERS, WE CAN GET THE WATER CLEAN ENOUGH TO BRING BACK CLAMMING AND OYSTERING, AND REVIVE A $500 MILLION INDUSTRY.

 

GIVE THE CLAMS AND OYSTERS A CHANCE, AND, AS FILTER FEEDERS, THEY WILL HELP TO CLEAN THE WATER WHILE BRINGING PROSPERITY TO THE SOUTH SHORE, AND RESTORING A WAY OF LIFE.

 

$383 MILLION DOLLARS HAS ALREADY BEEN ALLOCATED TO SEWER ALONG FOUR MAJOR RIVERS EMPTYING INTO THE GREAT SOUTH BAY.

 

WE SAY ‘LET’S PUT THAT MONEY TO WORK SO THAT WE AND THE SHELLFISH CAN GET TO WORK.’

 

THE RONKONKOMA HUB, A LARGE SCALE PROJECT JUST NOW BREAKING GROUND, NEEDS A ROUTE TO THE BERGEN SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT.

 

WE ARE PETITIONING THE COUNTY TO ‘ROUTE IT SOUTH’ THROUGH SAYVILLE, WEST SAYVILLE, AND OAKDALE, SO THAT WE CAN REPLACE THE LOW LYING CESSPOOLS CLOSE TO THE SHORE. YES, IT WILL COST MORE THAN WHAT WAS INITIALLY PLANNED, AROUND $24 MILLION MORE. BUT LET’S LOOK AT THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

 

WE COULD OPEN UP THOUSANDS OF ACRES TO SHELLFISHING AGAIN, AND WITH EVERY ACRE OF OYSTERS GENERATING UP TO $100,000 A YEAR IN REVENUES, EVERYONE WINS, ESPECIALLY THE BAY. 

 

WE URGE YOU THEN: SIGN THE PETITION.

 

VOTE YES ON THIS PLAN TO CLEAN OUR WATERS. VOTE YES ON THIS ECONOMIC INVESTMENT. YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS NEED TO HEAR YOUR VOICE, AND THIS PLAN NEEDS A FAIR HEARING.