(Glen Cove, NY) – Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton was able to secure the necessary funds from the County to invest in an important feasibility and design study, to help evaluate the need for new sewage management solutions along Hempstead Harbor from Glen Cove to Roslyn Harbor. On June 1, 2015 the County Legislature selected the consulting firm of Dvirka and Bartilucci to implement the study.
For residents who live in Glen Cove, Roslyn, or Port Washington, the majority of homeowners are connected to a public sewer system. However, in sections of Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, Roslyn Harbor, Flower Hill, or Sands Point homes have their own cesspool or septic system. Homeowners in unsewered areas of Port Washington asked Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton to have the study expanded. With the assistance and cooperation of the Department of Public Works those areas will now be included.
Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said, “I am pleased that the County is moving forward with this important study. This study will give homeowners and sewer districts the tools to make appropriate decisions. I look forward to working with the Mayors to use the information determined by this study to protect the Harbor and aquifer.”
“The outcome of this feasibility study is critical for Glen Cove and I appreciate the support of County Executive Mangano and our local legislators who have responded to my request for assistance in our City,” said Mayor Reggie Spinello. Mayor Spinello and the Glen Cove City County have already approved legislation towards identifying compromised septic systems that may be contributing to water quality issues at Crescent Beach for the past six years. The Mayor is optimistic that this plan if successful will allow the City to re-open Crescent Beach in the near future. “Sewers are the only real solution to the problems that have plagued the Crescent Beach area for so long,” added Mayor Spinello.
This sewage management situation came to light in the North Shore area when contamination in a stream at Glen Cove’s Crescent Beach caused the beach and shell fishing in the area to be closed due to compromised cesspools in the surrounding community.
Though 90% of Nassau County has public sewer systems, the North Shore with its extensive water access is the ten percent that isn’t connected and nearly 70% of the North Shore community is not connected to public sewers. The thinking in the past was that as the bacteria and nitrogen was absorbed through the soils, it would be naturally filtered before it got to our drinking water aquifer, or reached ponds, streams and bays. We now know that due to high ground water levels, poorly designed systems, and changes in ground water movement that both bacteria and nitrogen does get into the bays and the aquifer without being treated.
The three North Shore Protection Committees; Hempstead Harbor, Manhasset Bay and Oyster Bay/ Cold Spring Harbor along with Friends of the Bay are partners in the CESSPOOL (Coordinated Environmental Solutions to Septic Problems Occurring On Long Island) program. This program seeks to educate homeowners on best management practices for their home systems. Hempstead Harbor Committee Executive Director Eric Swenson said, “This is exciting news. The County study will give the CESSPOOL program and our Committee some solid data to work with.”