Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays

Improve Your Septic System

Increased wastewater treatment from residential septic systems and cesspools is needed to protect our groundwater and surface waters from the negative impacts of nitrogen pollution.

Diagram of a typical residential sewage disposal system.

 

Increased wastewater treatment from residential septic systems and cesspools is needed to protect our groundwater and surface waters from the negative impacts of nitrogen pollution. This can be done through sewering or installation of innovative/advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems.

Suffolk County is embarking on a major change to the way we handle our wastewater and it involves everyone who lives in the county.

The Suffolk County Reclaim Our Water Initiative is currently evaluating wastewater treatment systems to see what technologies will be most effective in areas throughout the county to decrease nitrogen pollution and providing homeowners an incentive to install nitrogen removing wastewater systems on their properties through the Septic Improvement Program.

Suffolk County Septic Improvement Program

On July 3rd, 2017 a new incentive program was announced to provide grants and low-interest financing to make the installation of new nitrogen reducing septic systems affordable for homeowners. The program is the next step in the Suffolk County Executive’s plan to reverse decades of nitrogen pollution of ground and surface waters which has led to widespread beach closures, harmful algae blooms and fish kills.

There are multiple technologies approved by Suffolk County that you can install on your property! These technologies reduce the nitrogen entering the groundwater from our wastewater by more than 70%.

Click here for more info about the Septic Improvement Program

In addition to Suffolk County’s program, some East End towns are offering additional funding through the Community Preservation Fund for upgrades of septic systems and cesspools in certain areas:

East Hampton Septic Rebate Program

Southampton I/A OWTS Rebate Program

Other Septic System Best Management Practices

In addition to installing innovative/advanced wastewater treatment systems, follow these other guidelines to protect local groundwater and surface waters:

  • Continue proper maintenance and inspection schedule for your septic system.
  • If your septic system needs to be replaced, try to do it right away if you can. The resulting mess of septic failure can be much more costly to both the Peconic Bays and your pocket.
  • Make sure your septic system is as far from the surface water and groundwater as possible.
  • Eliminate or reduce the chemicals that go down the drains at your home. Natural alternatives can be just as effective and are less harmful to the environment as they make their way through your septic system and out to our local bays. Make sure grease does not go down drains as it can clog up septic systems.
  • Conserve water and stop any faucets that are leaking or toilets that are running. When excess water runs down the drain it can overload your septic system.

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