The Suffolk legislature has voted unanimously to allow modern, high-tech septic tanks to be installed to replace the county’s aging residential cesspools and septic systems in order to reduce the amount of nitrogen seeping out of traditional cesspools.
Cesspools are a large contributing factor to the overwhelming nitrogen pollution that has affected Long Island’s ground and surface water. 70% of Suffolk County homes do not have sewers and rely on cesspools for the disposal of septic waste. Nitrogen pollution in water often causes algae blooms, which devastate marine life by absorbing massive amounts of oxygen out of the water. By reducing the amount of nitrogen seeping into the water through septic systems, the Suffolk County Legislature hopes to reduce the number of algae blooms in Long Island waters.
The legislature has held a lottery to select 20 homes in the county to install the new high-tech septic systems as a test to see if they significantly reduce nitrogen seepage into local water.
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