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Jun 13, 2017 6:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Considers Stricter Septic Law

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman
Jun 14, 2017 9:13 AM

Southampton Town officials are looking to mandate the installation of on-site wastewater treatment systems for all new residential developments constructed within the municipality’s most environmentally sensitive places.

The proposed code change would require the installation of Suffolk County Department of Health Services-approved systems for any new residential project in which wastewater is able to reach a watershed in less than two years. This means that if water is flushed, and that water could reach a watershed within that time frame, the property would be required to have one of the newer septic systems.

“These are the most sensitive areas,” Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman explained at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.

Town Councilman John Bouvier noted that the law, if adopted, would not apply to existing residential properties unless a homeowner is looking to increase the floor area of a structure by more than 25 percent. He also noted that certain developments will be automatically required by the county to have substantial septic systems.

A number of variables—including topography, as well as runoff and infiltration levels—can dictate how slowly, or quickly, groundwater travels. According to the town’s Water Quality Improvement Plan, half the overall nitrogen load from septic wastewater comes from homes located within 1,00 feet of the coastline within the Peconic Estuary—and account for about 18 percent of the total nitrogen load.

Sponsored by all five board members, the proposal will be discussed at a public hearing on Tuesday, July 11, starting at 1 p.m., at Town Hall.

Those who violate the ordinance could be fined up to $1,000 and also be required to complete “remediation efforts,” at the discretion of the county, if their older model septic systems contaminate the groundwater and nearby water bodies. Fines collected would be reinvested in the town’s septic system rebate and incentive program, according to the legislation.

The proposal is part of the Town Board’s push to improve water quality, and comes on the heels of last November’s referendum in which voters overwhelmingly agreed to spend as much as 20 percent of the town’s future Community Preservation Fund proceeds on such improvement efforts. Both the town’s CPF Water Quality Improvement Project and Southampton Water Protection plans note that watersheds within the municipality are already inundated with more nitrogen than they can naturally absorb and neutralize.

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And they wonder why there is no affordable housing. Hold on to your wallets folks, next stop, mandating everyone into new compliance. Surveys, updated CO's, all to create more incoming FEES to the town.
By The Real World (365), southampton on Jun 14, 17 7:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
program too new, all approved systems too new, very expensive to install a pilot program maybe. Let us first deal with housing and infrastructure ! Roads ,,sidewalks ,town justice court and transportation issues. Most of the homes they are talking about are seasonal.
By Obserever (40), Southnampton on Jun 15, 17 4:01 PM
Why are we allowing development in environmentally sensitive areas? Instead of preserving them!
By AL (73), southampton on Jun 17, 17 6:22 AM
2 members liked this comment
Fabulous thought....!

Why allowing the pollution in the first place - knowing what we know now?

Why measure it, monitor it, expose our school children to breathe the air - that the person applying these pesticides is wearing a hazmat mask and suit to protect him?

Why, why, why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, I know why - - for that bag of TRINKETS. Great...
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Jun 18, 17 8:45 AM
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