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Source: Long Island Exchange

Bellone, Suffolk Officials and Environmentalists Announce the Installation of Advanced Onsite Septic System for Suffolk Septic System Lottery Winner

Resident receives an advanced onsite septic system as part of Suffolk County’s Septic Pilot Program and Reclaim Our Water Initiative

Posted: August 24, 2015
Originally Published: August 21, 2015

Press conference.

Peter Scully, Deputy County Executive for Water Quality, Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Mike Kaufman, member of Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality, Legislator Leslie Kennedy, County Executive Steve Bellone, James Minet (homeowner), Chris Clapp, Marine Scientist-Nature Conservancy, E.S. Kalogeras, Consulting Engineer, Pete Sabo, Business Development Manager-Hydro Action, Sarah Lansdale, Director of Planning. Photo Credit: Suffolk County.

(Long Island, NY) On August 20, 2015, County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Legislator Leslie Kennedy, Environmentalists, and Suffolk officials to witness the installation Hydro-Action’s advanced onsite septic system. This system is one of the 19 systems that were awarded through the Suffolk County Advanced Septic Pilot Program Lottery.

The pilot program is part of Suffolk County’s Reclaim Our Water initiative, a comprehensive plan to improve the County’s water quality, restore the region’s natural storm barriers by eradicating nitrogen pollution by means of sewering targeted areas and implementing advanced on-site wastewater treatment systems. County Executive Bellone has made protection and improvement of the water supply a top priority for Suffolk County.

“This initiative represents a significant step in improving the quality of water, an important resource for economy and health,” County Executive Bellone said. “This pilot program will demonstrate the benefits of protecting one of our great natural resources and will provide individual homeowners as well as the rest of Suffolk County an opportunity to improve both the environment of their homes as well as that of Suffolk County. I applaud the Minet family and the 19 homeowners who were winners in our advanced septic lottery for being pioneers as they will be the ones who will have helped us to solve this problem in our region.”

“It was a wonderfully informative morning watching as the Hydro-Action aerobic treatment unit was installed at the Nesconset home of the Minot’s, stated Legislator Leslie Kennedy. “Finally, the county is starting to turn the corner in terms of protecting our sole source aquifer and leaving the twentieth century behind!”

The Hydro-Action system, which was installed today, uses extended aeration activated sludge process in which microorganisms that treat wastewater remain in the treatment process for longer period of time therefore reducing nitrogen by up to 80%. The Hydro-Action system outperforms traditional septic tanks in prolonging drain field life, meeting environmental requirements, and handling issues like poor soil or high groundwater.

“This is an advanced system that efficiently and in a low-cost manner solves the pollution of nitrogen loading, which causes a host of problems such as fish die offs and contamination,” said Pete Sabo, Business Development Manager at Hydro Action. This system tests at an 80 percent reduction of nitrogen.”

“There’s nothing more important to the sustainability and livability for Long Island than clean water,” said Adrienne Esposito of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “These new innovative wastewater treatment facilities are the key to a cleaner and safer future. What we are seeing is that we are not only discussing the topic, but we are solving the problem. We have to thank the County Executive and his team for doing this.”

Suffolk County’s Advanced Septic Pilot program will test systems in different types of terrain so that they can be permitted for general use within the county. Many of these advanced wastewater treatment systems were observed by county experts on a tour of septic programs conducted in other states in the Northeast.

The 19 systems were donated by four national manufacturers, Hydro-Action Industries BUSSE Green Technologies, Norweco, and Orenco Systems, all of whom have extensive experience across the country, as well as Europe, in removing excess nitrogen from residential and commercial properties. The advanced wastewater treatment systems are valued at up to $15,000 per system.

The firms will also work with Suffolk County officials and the County’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs throughout the process to develop an extensive job training program to bring more septic and wastewater-oriented employment opportunities to Suffolk County. The program will additionally help to create a homeowner awareness program to provide residents information on proper septic system maintenance protocols in an effort to reduce nitrogen levels.

“We would like to thank the County Executive and his team for embracing the science behind our degrading waters and have made it no longer acceptable to not be able to swim, fish or recreate in our waters, said Chris Clapp, Marine Scientist, Nature Conservancy. “We know that 65 percent of all the nitrogen entering our ground and surface waters comes from outdated systems, and being able to reduce that load from 50 to 75 percent is a huge improvement in solving the nitrogen pollution problem at its source.”

“My wife and I are very excited to participate in this program as we are bringing up (our family) in Suffolk County,” said Jim Minet, Nesconset resident and homeowner. “We are concerned about the water quality and we think this goes a long way to take us down the road to improvement. This process is well worth it in the long run.”