Report: Cesspools polluting LI waterways

The News Leader

June 29, 2010 6:29:08 AM PDT
An environmental group says that cesspools in Long Island's Suffolk County are releasing high levels of nitrogen into the area's waterways.

A report by Peconic Baykeeper says the nitrogen is harming fish life and causing algae blooms and invasive weeds.

It called on the county to overhaul its septic code, designate nitrogen-sensitive areas and create incentives for homeowners to replace old systems.

Suffolk's commissioner of environment and energy, Carrie Gallagher, said the county expected to make some of the same recommendations this fall when it releases its water resources management report.

Currently, in some cases, Suffolk allows septic systems to be installed on half-acre lots. Gallagher said it would recommend limiting installation to properties of one acre or larger.