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Source: Water World

Suez Partnership with Nassau County to Save Nearly One Million Gallons of Water Per Day

Posted: March 2, 2018
Originally Published: March 1, 2018

PARAMUS, NJ, MARCH 1, 2018 -- In a joint effort to protect Nassau County's precious but limited water resources, SUEZ and Nassau County are proposing to construct the County's first water recycling facility at the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh. Water recycling is reusing treated wastewater for beneficial purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing, and replenishing a ground water basin (referred to as ground water recharge).

SUEZ operates and manages Nassau County's wastewater system, which is the largest public-private partnership for water and wastewater services in the United States. The project is expected to cost approximately $1.1 million and be completed by January 2019. The cost, to be paid entirely by SUEZ, is expected to result in a net reduction of the plant's operating expenses by more than $350,000 per year.

"We are excited at the prospect of bringing a sustainable solution that will bring tremendous environmental benefits to the Nassau County community," said Eric Gernath, CEO of SUEZ North America. "Most people think of water recycling as a west coast issue because of water scarcity issues, but we believe that by decreasing wastewater discharges we also reduce and prevent pollutants from reaching our waterways."

By reusing treated plant effluent, the Cedar Creek plant will preserve up to 300 million gallons of groundwater each year. The plant currently uses about 600 gallons of groundwater per minute for non-potable uses, such as process cooling water and washing down equipment and tanks. The proposed plant instead will take water from the screened plant effluent system and treat it for solids removal and for high-level, multiple-barrier disinfection using chlorination and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection.

"In Nassau County we are fully aware of the dangers when pollutants are discharged to our bay and other water bodies," said Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive. "This new water recycling plant is a great start to reduce treated wastewater entering our waterways and also to help protect our drinking water supplies. We applaud the efforts of SUEZ and look forward to the day this plant is ready for action."

SUEZ began operating and maintaining the Nassau County Sewer System under a public-private partnership in January 2015. Since then, SUEZ has received high marks from environmental groups and non-governmental organizations, including the Western Bays Coalition of environmental groups, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, and the New York League of Conservation Voters.

"We applaud the efforts by SUEZ to protect Long Island's vulnerable aquifer system," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "All of Long Island's drinking water comes from underground. Unfortunately, saltwater intrusion into our south shore groundwater is a growing threat and conserving water is a critical component to combat this threat. SUEZ has done a commendable job in reducing nitrogen pollution from sewage and in protecting existing groundwater." The Citizens Campaign for the Environment and its 80,000 members in New York and Connecticut advocate solutions for the environment and public health.

SUEZ is one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in New York State with operations in Mohawk Valley, Mount Kisco, Owego, New Castle, Nichols, Poughkeepsie, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties.