Innovative And Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
On September 21, 2016 the Suffolk County Department of Health Services adopted Standards for the management and approval of I/A OWTS along with significant revisions to the residential construction standards, which define the requirements for the design and construction of I/A OWTS. In addition, on September 28, 2016 SCDHS issued the first ever I/A OWTS approval for provisional use County-wide with the Hydro-Action system. The County continues to pilot new technologies and a list of approved technologies can be found below:
Article 6 of Suffolk County Sanitary Code
Article 19 of Suffolk County Sanitary Code
Article 19 I/A OWTS Standards
I/A OWTS Approval List
Other Useful Documents:
A Suffolk County delegation toured alternative septic programs administered by the Maryland Department of Environment, New Jersey Pinelands Commission, University of Rhode Island New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program, and Barnstable County Department of Health’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic Systems Test Center.
A pressurized shallow drainfield (PSD) is an alternative to the use of a conventional concrete leaching pool system for dispersal of treated effluent. The system utilizes a series of pipes placed in the upper 18 inches of the soil horizon for maximum treatment by natural soil processes. This even application of the effluent just below the ground surface where biological activity is greatest, allows for additional nutrient removal to take place during the dispersal process. Plant and grass roots are also able utilize these nutrients, reducing the need for fertilizers. In addition to providing a higher level of treatment, shallow placement as maximizes vertical separation distance from the drainfield to the water table, making PSD’s ideal for high groundwater situations.
Suffolk County’s surface waters are a huge economic and lifestyle driver for Long Island and contribute immensely to tourism, commerce, fishing, recreation, and other activities. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) pose an increasing threat to the healthy ecological functioning of County surface waters and can reduce the type and level of ecological services County residents and communities derive from these systems. Moreover, some HABs pose a direct threat to public health and safety; they produce toxins that are harmful to humans and pets. HABs are not new to Suffolk County’s waters, but they are increasing in frequency and variety. The HAB Synthesis Report (Appendix A) is a comprehensive review of the history of HABs in Suffolk County. The Synthesis Report, prepared by Dr. Chris Gobler and Dr. Theresa Hattenrath-Lehmann, details what is known about the specific causes of HABs, their impacts and what management actions have been taken in response to these HAB events.
Coastal marine ecosystems are among the most ecologically and socioeconomically productive on the planet. Anthropogenic processes associated with eutrophication and climate change can make these coastal marine ecosystems more susceptible to ecological perturbations including harmful algal blooms (HABs). The spatial and temporal expansion and increased intensity of HABs is a globally recognized phenomenon and this expansion has already been observed in Suffolk County where HABs have become a human health, economic and environmental threat to local waters.