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Plan to Protect Our Waters

We have a problem

If you’ve read a newspaper or watched a local news channel in the past five years, then you know that Long Island is facing a water quality crisis. We’ve seen a decline in shellfish populations, continuous harmful algae blooms that plague our coastal waters and close our favorite beaches, and even coastal flooding. We have a problem. The biggest threat to our water quality is nitrogen pollution from cesspools and septic systems. Nitrogen-laden wastewater from our homes flows into these systems and into our underground drinking water aquifers and eventually, into our surface waters. In Suffolk County alone, 70% of homes are hooked up to these antiquated systems, that were never designed to remove nitrogen, only pathogens.

Suffolk County has studied the nitrogen levels in 191 individual waterbodies and has determined that up to 90% reductions in nitrogen will be required in many areas, to restore and protect our waters.

Nitrogen Pollution Explained:



The good news is: We know how to fix it!

New septic systems with nitrogen-removing technology have been developed and when installed, can reduce nitrogen in effluent by up to 90%. 360,000 individual household systems will eventually need to be replaced with this new technology. Suffolk County Department of Health Services recently announced a $4 billion plan to modernize household wastewater infrastructure. You can read all about the plan here.

Now that we have a plan, we need to tell the Suffolk County Legislature to adopt it, so we can finally start the journey to protect our health, economy, and quality of life.

Show your support!

Please join the Long Island Clean Water Partnership and attend one of these important hearings to let your elected officials know why clean water is important to you and your family.

Eastern Suffolk

September 5, 2019 – 6 pm to 8 pm

Riverhead Legislative Auditorium

300 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901

Western Suffolk

September 6, 2019 – 3 pm to 5 pm

Suffolk County Community College

Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood, NY 11717