NEW YORK - "Although 90% of Nassau County has public sewer systems, the North Shore with its extensive water access contains the 10% that is not connected to sewers," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Tuesday.
With Hempstead Harbor in Port Washington as the backdrop, Curran announced the county’s initiative to remove nitrogen from the waterways. Starting next week, Nassau residents and small business owners can apply to have their failing cesspools or septic systems replaced.
"Malfunctioning septic systems are one of the leading causes of groundwater pollution on our beautiful island and one of the leading sources of surface water pollution contributing to toxic algae blooms and suffocation of aquatic life," said Curran.
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The funding comes mostly from the state and would cover half the cost of a septic tank replacement or up to $10,000. Sue Sullivan is a Port resident and business owner in town who welcomes any help when it comes to our waterways.
"I’ll do anything to help out and keep clean for the next generation, so if the septic system is being changed and it’s going to help any way with overflow, then I totally agree with what they’re doing," said Sullivan.
It has also been a concern for Port Washington father Michael Lewis.
"Definitely something I would be concerned about, the idea a cesspool could overflow and cost thousands of dollars on our home, possibly damage my kids’ health when they drink the tap water accidentally in the bath sometimes and all that. I think it’s wonderful," said Lewis.
The county will start taking applications next Monday, May 3rd. You can apply online at Nassaucountyny.gov/septicreplace. Funding will only cover about 200 homes and businesses, but the county hopes to receive more grants in the near future.