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Blue Point cesspools to be connected to Patchogue wastewater treatment plant

Dirty water from the oil wells flows through oil-caked pipes into a settling pit where trucks vacuum off the oil.

Residents of Blue Point on Long Island are working with Suffolk County to connect their cesspools to a sewage treatment plant in Patchogue.

The hamlet’s almost 40-year-old cesspool systems have contributed to the contamination of the Great South Bay and nearby local wildlife habitats.

“We have to reverse the decades of decline that we have seen in our water quality because of the pollution that we have been depositing to our bays, and streams, and lakes, and rivers,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said on Tuesday, announcing the project.

The cost of the $2.4 million project will be split between a loan taken out by the local homeowners association and the county’s wastewater infrastructure fund.

The pipes designed to connect the cesspool to the plant will be constructed later this year.

Then, flowing wastewater to the Patchogue plant is expected to remove about 6,000 pounds of nitrogen from the groundwater per year.

This project is part of the county’s larger Subwatersheds Wastewater Plan to improve local water quality and reduce nitrogen in wastewater, which creates algal blooms and fish kills.

“The plan identifies two core needs to fix the water quality problems in our region. First, the establishment of a country-wide waste water district,” Bellone said. “The second core piece of the plan, of course, is a stable and recurring revenue source to fund these waste water infrastructure investments.”

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.