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Peconic Baykeeper And Cow Neck Farm’s Septic Improvement Program: New Cesspools For Some Lucky North Sea Beach Colony Residents

"This is the single most important thing homeowners can do on the East End for environmentally clean water on their properties, and we are making it easier for them," Sean O'Neill stressed. (Photo courtesy of Peconic Baykeeper)

Sean O'Neill, Executive Director of Peconic Baykeeper (PBK), has emphasized many times that the single most important factor contributing to nitrogen pollution and unhealthy drinking water on Long Island is due to outdated and ineffectual cesspools and septic systems.

After much diligence and hard work, O'Neill is pleased to announce that Phase I of the implementation of the Septic Improvement Program to reduce Net Nitrogen will be underway this winter.

The non-profit PBK, now located in Hampton Bays, is undertaking the project in partnership with Cow Neck Farms, and three residences in North Sea Beach Colony in Southampton will be receiving updated new septic systems and cesspools. FujiClean CEN is one of six nitrogen-reducing septic systems approved by Suffolk County and will be providing the systems to the three residences at no cost to the homeowner. Advanced Wastewater Solutions of North Sea will distribute, install, conduct routine tests and maintain the systems.

Since many homeowners are reluctant or unable to afford the upfront costs for new systems, PBK will provide the private funding (estimated at $80,000) for engineering, permits and start-up costs for the three residences with generous contributions from The Moore Charitable Foundation in NYC and PBK board member Diana Taylor. Other interested residents who would like to participate in the program will receive rebate reimbursement from the Town of Southampton's Community Preservation Fund (CPF) revenues.

According to O'Neill, "The three residences were chosen after site evaluations and after viewing a number of residences of homeowners who expressed interest in the program. We tried to pick properties where the costs would be no more or under $20,000, as that is about what the average start-up costs are."

There will be a fourth fully functional FujiClean CEN system installed in Hamptons Bays said O'Neill, "It will be at our headquarters serving our office and guests and we encourage homeowners to stop by for a look."

"We are doing three residences at once," said O'Neill, "otherwise homeowners on an individual basis would have to provide upfront costs and wait for reimbursement from CPF, and our plan is to do this on a community-wide basis by handling the permits, engineering, access and other costs so there is no out-of-pocket costs to the homeowner, plus buying more than one system at a time is cost-effective."

O'Neill further stressed, "This is the single most important thing homeowners can do on the East End for environmentally clean water on their properties, and we are making it easier for them."

The next phases, II and III, for the Septic Improvement Program will include converting 20 outdated cesspools in 2019, and 2020 will bring the installation of another 20 of the FujiClean CEN systems.

For more information call 631-653-4804, email info@peconicbaykeeper.org, or visit peconicbaykeeper.org.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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