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Feb 12, 2019 4:09 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New Septic Law Adopted In East Hampton Village

Feb 12, 2019 4:36 PM

The East Hampton Village Board voted unanimously last week to require low-nitrogen septic systems for new single-family homes and for expansions that increase the home’s floor area by 25 percent or more, as well as for any construction that increases the number of bedrooms in a home.

The legislation was adopted at a Thursday, February 7, work session, with a goal of protecting the village’s water bodies and ecosystems such as Hook Pond and Georgica Pond, where high nitrogen levels have been blamed for harmful algal blooms, reduced oxygen levels and fish kills.

“The intent is to protect and preserve the village’s natural resources and water supply, and promote public health and safety,” June Lester, secretary to Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr., read aloud from the proposed amendment.

Adopted after months of back-and-forth conversations and public hearings, the law will apply throughout the village except in the core commercial district, where alternative wastewater treatments such as sewers are in the process of being evaluated.

Wastewater has been identified as one of the chief sources of nitrogen entering groundwater and surface water. A study by Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University, funded by the Friends of Georgica Pond, found that wastewater from septic systems was responsible for 50 percent of the nitrogen entering Georgica Pond.

“As a village resident, I am very proud of the board for taking this critical step,” said Friends of Georgica Pond President Priscilla Rattazzi. “With close to 70 percent of Georgica Pond’s shoreline in the village, this new legislation will make a significant difference to the water quality of the pond, especially for future generations.”

The legislation drew strong support from The Nature Conservancy, the Group for the East End, the Village Preservation Society of East Hampton and Defend H20.

Grants from both the East Hampton Community Preservation Fund and Suffolk County are available to assist with the cost of the new systems. The amount of grant funding a homeowner can receive ranges from $10,000 to $26,000 depending on income, location and whether the homeowner is year-round or seasonal.

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Don't think the home owners around these ponds are in need of grants.
By knitter (1717), Southampton on Feb 14, 19 7:10 PM