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May 23, 2017 2:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Is First To Introduce Septic Replacement Requirements

May 23, 2017 4:23 PM

East Hampton last week officially became the first East End town to introduce legislation to direct millions of dollars in Community Preservation Fund money to help residents replace their homes’ septic systems.

The town introduced legislation that will give thousands of homeowners access to as much as $15,000 each in subsidies to replace cesspools, septic tanks, or other failing or outdated waste systems with new systems designed to reduce nitrogen levels in wastewater to less than 19 milligrams per liter—compared to 50 mg/l or more from typical septic tanks.

The legislation, which will be the subject of a public hearing before the Town Board on June 15, also would mandate the use of nitrogen-reducing waste systems in all new construction and the replacement of outdated systems as part of any major renovation or expansion of a property, or in any case where a system has to be substantially repaired.

Voters in all five East End towns last fall approved the use of up to 20 percent of each town’s respective CPF revenue, from a 2-percent tax on all real estate sales, for water quality improvement.

East Hampton has led the charge as the first to introduce legislation and the first to impanel a committee, which began meeting over the winter, to review and prioritize other water quality improvement projects.

Southampton Town has been working for months on legislation but is still likely months from introducing its own law. Councilman John Bouvier said this week that the town is waiting for Suffolk County to introduce its own mandate and rebate legislation, so the town can tailor its law to complement or benefit from the county efforts. Southampton also is about to start interviewing individuals for its water quality review committee.

Both towns have a variety of projects on tap to start lowering nitrogen inputs from other sources as well, but replacing outdated residential waste systems, especially in homes close to bays and creeks, has been seen by many as the most pressing need.

Nitrogen leaching into tidal waters and freshwater ponds from residential wastewater—primarily urine that enters groundwater tables largely unfiltered through most current systems—has been identified by scientists as the main catalyst for algae blooms that have been seen in local bays with increasing frequency and intensity since 1985.

Homes built close to tidal bays prior to the 1970s have been identified as the most impactful properties since their waste systems essentially empty directly into water tables that are sometimes almost immediately in contact with tidal waters.

East Hampton’s legislation pledges to give homeowners in its critical watershed areas as much as $15,000 to pay for installing the new systems, which can cost as much as $16,000 to install.

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Funny that most of the polluted water on the east end is from farm land and what are they preserving? Idiots in govt
By chief1 (2784), southampton on May 24, 17 12:22 PM
Patently untrue The primary source is wastewater. Read the reports.
By PAW47 (10), East Hampton on May 27, 17 12:30 PM
In addition. The process will be another way for the town to collect fees and check CO requirements. Nothing in Town is ever easy and painless. You have to give blood to get a beach permit, imagine this fiasco.
By The Real World (368), southampton on May 24, 17 4:20 PM
Great, so first time homebuyers getting into a $450,000 house will have the priveledge of subsidizing a billionaire's septic system replacement for their $20,000,000 mansion.

This must be an example of the redistribution so-called progressives are always bleating about. Funny how neither 27East, or any local newspaper pointed that out prior to voting in the referendum for "water quality", it might have changed a few minds.
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on May 24, 17 8:58 PM
First time homebuyers at the $450k level will be subsidizing every ones water quality, just like $20m owners will be. Seems fair since all income levels enjoy the benefits.
By SHResident (59), Southampton on May 25, 17 7:59 AM
"In Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island, the tax is 2% on the amount over $100,000 on the purchase price of unimproved land, and 2% on the amount over $250,000 on the purchase price of improved land." "The second is a tax on the purchase of real property improved by a one, two, or three-family dwelling including condominiums and cooperatives, if the purchase price is $1 million or more." So the tax rate is higher for more expensive homes. In addition, although I have not read the law ...more
By PAW47 (10), East Hampton on May 27, 17 12:39 PM
Check out Meadow La. Big users of fertilizers and water, where does it go??? Lawns are green...
By knitter (1898), Southampton on May 25, 17 9:46 AM
green lawns equal brown bays
By yassar arafar (33), sag harbor on May 25, 17 1:35 PM
Southampton wake up and be a leader, don't follow...
By knitter (1898), Southampton on May 26, 17 12:34 PM
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