In the preparation of the Town’s Water Quality Improvement Plan, it became clear that improving the efficiency of sanitary systems in East Hampton Town would have a significant impact on the nitrogen pollution of the Town’s surface waters and aquifer, especially in vulnerable areas.
Of the approximately 19,400 developed parcels in the Town of East Hampton, more than 12,500 parcels are using antiquated cesspools and 6,700 use traditional leach field systems to treat wastewater; neither of which were designed to treat for nitrogen removal. Additionally, 6,330 developed parcels, or 32% of the total, are located in the Water Protection District; a critical environmental area.
With the passage of the local law extending the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) and expanding its use to include Water Quality Improvement Projects, the Town has access to funding to incentivize the voluntary upgrade of standard sanitary systems to Low-Nitrogen Sanitary Systems.
Based on a 10 year average of CPF revenue (2005-2015), approximately $4,600,000 will available annually for water quality improvement projects. Over the life of the CPF WQIP, approximately $152,000,000 will be available for water quality improvement projects. This funding would allow the Town of East Hampton to make significant improvements to water quality using a targeted approach in areas of concern.
Suffolk County Department of Health has made great strides to approve for installation Low-Nitrogen Sanitary Systems including systems that reduce nitrogen levels to 19 milligrams of less per liter, with the intent to approve systems that reduce nitrogen levels to 10 milligrams of less per liter.