• North-Shore-Land-Alliance-Protects-Water-with-Hydro-Action-Clean-Water-Septic-Technology

    North Shore Land Alliance Protects Water with Hydro-Action Clean Water Septic Technology

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact North Shore Land Alliance Email: [email protected] or call 516-922-1028 North Shore Land Alliance Protects Water with Hydro-Action Clean Water Septic Technology Oyster Bay, New York | The North Shore Land Alliance is leading the charge by installing a new, eco-conscious Hydro-Action clean water septic system at their newly remodeled headquarters at the Humes Preserve in Mill Neck, New York.  This was made possible by a generous donation from Wastewater Works, Inc. for the system, and grant from Nassau County’s SEPTIC program for the installation. The Hydro-Action septic system will remove harmful chemicals like nitrogen from wastewater ultimately protecting our bays, harbors, and sole source aquifer. The Land Alliance is dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of Long Island’s natural and historic lands, waters, and environmental resources. Through education, outreach and volunteerism, the Land Alliance aspires to connect people to nature and build a community conservation ethic. Residents are cordially invited to view headquarters in February. When visiting, you can also check out the Land Alliance’s clean water septic system as well as the state-of-the-art, carbon-minimizing geothermal energy system. Stormwater runoff preventing rain gardens to follow this spring. It is imperative that we work together as a community to protect our open spaces and water resources. By upgrading our homes with environmentally friendly technologies we can improve water quality, reduce CO2 emissions, and protect wildlife. If you’re interested in receiving a grant to upgrade your outdated and polluting septic system, check out Nassau County’s SEPTIC program at nassaucountyny.gov/SepticReplace. You may be eligible for $20,000 to switch to clean water septic technology.

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  • Long Island Water Quality Update

    The summer of 2022 felt like a long string of bad news. Scientists from SUNY Stony Brook published their 2022 assessment of water quality in Long Island’s estuaries in 2022. The news is not good. During the months of June through September, every major bay and estuary across Long Island experienced fish kills, algal blooms and oxygen-starved dead zones. Last year, Nassau County and the U.S. Geological Survey completed a Subwatershed study that analyzed surface and groundwater pollution with updated watersheds maps. The study found that excess nitrogen from outdated septic tanks and cesspools is the main cause of harmful algal blooms and fish kills in our bays and harbors. Nitrogen in household sewage seeps into groundwater and ultimately into bays, harbors and estuaries (or, in some cases, is directly discharged into surface waters). We are extremely concerned by septic system pollution, as we all sit on top of underground aquifers where fresh water replenishes into a deep recharge aquifer. Any untreated water that flows into the aquifer will eventually make its way into our drinking water. Based on the study, select subwatersheds on the north shore of Nassau County will need to reduce nitrogen by 60% to hit water quality goals. These much-needed nitrogen reductions can be achieved by upgrading 20,000 existing septic systems with clean water technology. Clean water septic systems convert nitrogen in wastewater into a harmless gas by harnessing natural processes. These systems are so effective they can remove up to 95% of nitrogen from wastewater when compared to conventional septic tanks. Removing excess nitrogen from the environment will help restore our commercial fishing, boating and recreation industries and improve drinking water for generations to come. If you would like to see clean water technology at work, stop by the Land Alliance’s new HQ where a Wastewater Works, Inc. system will be installed before year end. Upgrading your current septic system may be easier than you thought. In Nassau County, grants are available to cover up to 95% of the costs needed to upgrade septic tanks and cesspools with clean water septic systems. Through the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District S.E.P.T.I.C. program, you may be eligible for as much as $20,000 to upgrade. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit nassaucountyny.gov/SepticReplace. Community members who have already installed new clean water septic systems have good things to say. Liz Stanton of Bayville reports “Our system is better than we could have hoped, and we have peace of mind knowing we are doing our part in keeping Bayville’s water clean”. New 2022 map shows record number of fish kills, dead zones and toxic tides that intensified with the heat of summer

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  • Our Long Island Water Education Program Surpasses 10,000 Students Served

    After a pandemic year+ of postponement and a second year of remote learning (with supplies packed and delivered to schools) educator Karen Mossey finally returned to the classroom (with some interruptions!) during the 2021/2022 school year. And an exciting year this was with the total number of students served since the program’s inception surpassing 10,000. Enterprising as always and like educators everywhere faced with dramatic changes the pandemic required, Karen managed to add new school partners (Hewlett and Ogden in the Hewlett-Woodmere school district and St. James in the Smithtown school district). She nimbly adapted to remote learning. She did this by creating a video of the “build an aquifer” session and distributing a set of supplies for EACH student to the schools. Her efforts were carried out while getting her own school-age children through remote learning at home. Cheers to you, Karen, and educators all over.

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  • Water Quality Improvement Program

    Water Quality Improvement Program Update

    In November, a Sea Cliff resident successfully installed Nassau County’s first ever nitrogen-removing clean water septic system. After Hurricane Ida flooded this homeowner’s basement and collapsed the cesspool, he began research on how to upgrade to a clean water septic system. The homeowner applied for and was awarded grants from both Nassau County and New York State to supplement the acquisition and installation of the new system. When all was said and done, the homeowner paid significantly less for a clean water septic system than he would have paid for a conventional cesspool and septic tank.  It was a win-win for the homeowner’s wallet and Nassau’s water quality. For decades, the North Shore of Nassau County has been plagued by harmful algal blooms, dense invasive seaweed, fish kills and beach closures. These problems are the result of nitrogen filled wastewater leaking from septic tanks and cesspools into our waters. To reduce nitrogen levels to comply with EPA guidelines, the North Shore must upgrade more than 20,000 septic systems with clean water technology. In addition to reducing nitrogen in our bays, beaches and harbors, it is critical that we treat septic wastewater before it contaminates our drinking water. Our community sits directly above the Oyster Bay Special Groundwater Protection Area, where fresh water replenishes a deep recharge aquifer. Any untreated wastewater that flows into the aquifer will eventually make its way into our drinking water. But there’s good news! – It’s a fixable problem if we act now. Clean water septic systems, which can remove more than 70% of nitrogen from wastewater, convert toxic liquid wastewater into a harmless gas by harnessing natural processes. As of May 2021, Nassau County homeowners and small business owners became eligible for grant funding from the Soil and Water Conservation District’s SEPTIC program. It can cover up to 90% of the cost to install. Of the 200 available spots, more than 115 applications have been received and 20 clean water septic tanks are on their way to being installed. With support from the Land Alliance’s Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP), Nassau SEPTIC successfully secured an additional $2 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, bringing the total SEPTIC grant to $20,000 per applicant. If you are interested in applying for a clean water septic grant, please reach out to our WQIP Coordinator Kat Coughlin. She can assist you with every step of the application and permitting process (free of charge). Our WQIP was designed to improve local water quality. To do so, we need to reduce the source of the nitrogen that is polluting our waters. Thanks to the leadership of The Nature Conservancy and funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, we have the capacity to help homeowners and small business owners move through the process as quickly and easily as possible. Nitrogen pollution in our waterways is a problem we can fix. Converting conventional septic systems to clean-water models is a critical step. Working together, we can restore and protect Long Island’s waters. Our future depends on it. For more information on how you can get involved Go to www.upgradeyourseptic.org or call the Land Alliance at 516-922-1028.

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  • Photo Credit: Tina Walsh for Hudson River Park

    How Investments in Clean Water Can Restore Ecosystems

    In March, after a long year of social distancing and cold, cloudy weather, two dolphins were spotted swimming up the East River in New York City. This atypical pair provided a much-needed sign of hope and recovery for City dwellers. Even more surprisingly, tiny seahorses can now be found clinging to oyster cages and other submerged objects in the lower Hudson River. These little seahorses, known as the Lined Seahorse, are one of many aquatic species that now make up a diverse and thriving ecosystem in the Hudson River estuary. For decades, the Hudson River was severely polluted after PCBs, oil, heavy metals and solvents were all dumped into the river by factories producing cars and paper. At one point, local fishermen could tell what color General Motors was painting cars based on the color of the river that day! In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to restrict “point sources” such as factories and power plants from discharging contamination into US waterways. Over the nearly 50 years that have passed since then, NYC has invested more than $12 Billion to upgrade wastewater treatment to improve the health of the Hudson’s delicate, aquatic ecosystems. And, it has worked. A 2017 report by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection found that the Hudson River is the cleanest it has been in over a century as evidenced by the presence of the Lined Seahorse that would not be found in the Hudson River without these extraordinary cleanup efforts. Efforts such as these give us hope that if we take measures now our ecosystems can, indeed, be restored. We must also remember to stay vigilant in protecting our waters to ensure healthy ecosystems for future generations. Photo Credit: Tina Walsh for Hudson River Park

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