Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Newsday

Huntington treatment plant gets A+ rating


Posted: November 7, 2011
Originally Published: November 6, 2011

An $18-million upgrade in 2008 to bring the Town of Huntington's sewage treatment plant up to federal and state water quality standards for 2014 helped garner an A+ rating in a survey of treatment plants by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The grade was the highest among 10 Long Island plants studied in the Long Island environmental group's first report card, released last week. The plant's score of 97 was 10 points greater than the next highest-scoring plant.

"We graded not only on water quality issues, but energy efficiency, stormwater management and public education," said Adrienne Esposito, the group's executive director.

The rankings were based on state environmental data from 2005 through 2010, and questionnaires on operations and procedures at the 10 facilities, selected from about 200 Islandwide as a representative sample of local sewage infrastructure.

"We've put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to not only meet the nitrogen standards ahead of what's mandated," Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said, "but more so to really look at this as an opportunity to create a better environmental situation for our residents."

In addition to reducing the plant's nitrogen discharge, Petrone cited other successful initiatives in the $18-million improvement project, including conducting energy efficiency hybrid compressor testing and installing an ultraviolet disinfection system, as well as new high-efficiency lighting in all treatment plant buildings.

Huntington also is one of three plants in the study that conducts community education tours.

Esposito said Huntington, along with Riverhead, got high marks for being the only towns in the study supporting a federal law that would require public notification of sewage spills.

"That says they are for transparency, confident in their systems, and they are also more concerned about protecting the public's health than protecting their reputation," she said.

Esposito said the majority of the funding for the study came from the Long Island Community Foundation and she hopes to issue these report cards every two to three years.

"Efficient and effective management of Huntington's sewage treatment plant equates to cleaner, safer bays for Huntington residents," Esposito said. "They should be congratulated."