Suffolk County To Fund Cesspools For Some Homeowners

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Residents of East Hampton Town and Village could win a Suffolk County lottery that offers up something better than free money—free cesspools.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski are touting a lottery for government-installed, advanced waste-water treatment systems as an great thing for residents in need. The two officials teamed up with the Suffolk County Departments of Health, Public Works and Economic Development and Planning for a pilot program to select 19 homeowners throughout Suffolk County to receive a free septic system. Only homeowners without cesspools will be selected. If chosen, they will receive free installation, monitoring and maintenance for five years.

East Hampton Village Administrator Becky Molinaro said the village was first contacted by Mr. Krupski asking to help spread the word to local and eligible residents.

“This is entirely a county program,” said Ms. Molinaro, “but people working in town and village are in the midst of these water quality initiatives so it really makes sense.”

According to Mr. Bellone, there are 360,000 unsewered homes in Suffolk County, and the contaminants of them can lead to heightened levels of nitrogen and damage drinking water.

The village is encouraging its residents to participate, said Ms. Molinaro, as part of its larger movement to improve overall water quality in places like Hook Pond and Georgica Pond. The village and many residents raised concerns about the Maidstone Golf Club’s application to upgrade its irrigation system, fearing that fertilizer runoff from the course could contaminate the already struggling pond. Similarly, the East Hampton Trustees shut down Georgica Pond in August after blue-green algae blooms were found in the water. It has remained closed ever since.

The cesspools were donated by BUSSE Green Technologies, Norweco, Orenco Systems and Hydro-Action Industries, all of which are nationally recognized manufacturers and specialize in removing excess nitrogen from properties, according to Mr. Bellone. The systems are valued at up to $15,000 each.

To apply for the program, Residents are encouraged to log onto suffolkcountyny.gov to fill out an application. Applications are due November 14.

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