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Suffolk County Launches Septic Improvement Program

Troy David Johnson

Hundreds of thousands of residents in Suffolk County continue to use outdated septic systems or cesspools, which has led to increased levels of nitrogen contaminating Long Island’s water.

On Wednesday Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone launched the Reclaim Our Water Septic Improvement Plan, a pilot program designed to make it cheaper for residents to replace their antiquated wastewater systems with advanced treatment systems.

“This program is a grant and financing initiative that is designed to make the installation of advanced wastewater treatment on residential homes affordable and workable for the average homeowner.”

Residents that volunteer for the pilot program are eligible for up to $21,000 in loans and grants to cover the costs of installation.

“We are subsidizing the installation of these systems because it is critical to save our water quality in this region," Bellone says.

The average cost of the systems range from $14,000 to $17,000. Bellone hopes for 400 participants for the initial pilot.

Legislator Kara Hahn has traveled throughout the East Coast to study wastewater treatment systems. She called the program a transformative moment for water quality on Long Island.

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