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Suffolk County Septic Improvement Program Is Growing, Report Shows

Reclaim Our Water

Nearly 1,300 Suffolk County residents have signed up for a municipal programto replace their old septic tanks with newer nitrogen-filtering models. That’s according to a report released this week by the county.

The report comes after the IRS made a decision to tax grants received by the program’s participants. 

County Executive Steve Bellone plans to challenge the decision. His office released a video about support for the program, from homeowners like Bob Ruiter. 

“I am very big on water saving and not polluting the environment. So now this is not polluting the environment, so I feel much better about knowing that.”

Nearly 500 new septic systems have been installed or are “ground ready.” The systems reduce nitrogen pollution in Long Island waterways that cause algal blooms and fish kills.

Bellone worries that the IRS decision will discourage future participants. 

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.