Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Tuesday that a second advanced technology septic system has been approved for residential use in the county, and they will be manufactured in Bay Shore.
The Norweco Singulair TNT is described by Norweco as “the best and most cost-effective wastewater treatment system for domestic nutrient reduction,” and unlike standard septic tanks and cesspools, oxidizes nitrogen compounds that would otherwise leech into the ground.
The system was approved though the county’s Septic Demonstration Pilot Program, which thus far has seen 39 residents chosen in lotteries to have denitrification units installed at their homes.
Those residents received a free system, including installation, monitoring and maintenance for five years.
Nitrogen, mainly from human waste and fertilizers, has become public enemy number one among residents concerned with Long Island’s water quality and decimated shellfish populations. The nitrogen finds its ways into bays and creeks and feeds harmful algal blooms, such as the brown tides that began cropping up in the bays in the 1980s, that deprive bodies of water of oxygen.
Bellone, environmental advocates, baymen and others are pinning their hopes on gradually replacing Suffolk’s more than 360,000 septic tanks and cesspools with nitrogen-reducing technologies.
“Approving yet another technology to reduce nitrogen levels in Suffolk County is is a true indication that we all recognize the importance of our water quality,” said Bellone. “We are committed to eliminating the harmful effects of nitrogen pollution in our ground and surface waters, and we will continue to work with our partners in the private and public sectors in order to do so.”
The Singulair TNT was provisionally approved by the county health department after it was found to have effectively reduced nitrogen levels to 19 mg/l, according to the county.
The first system to win provisional approval was by Hydro-Action Industries, which was also found to reduce nitrogen levels to 19 mg/l for six consecutive months. Currently, more than 14,000 of those systems have been installed in homes throughout the Midwest and in Maryland, according to the county.
Out of the 19 systems installed and tested during the first phase of the pilot program, which launched in December 2014, 10 were donated by Norweco and the Roman Stone Construction Company, good for a more than $100,000 investment, county officials said.
“This is a Suffolk County project through and through, with Roman Stone of Bay Shore leading the way in developing these state of the art wastewater treatment systems,” said county Legislator Bill Lindsay of Bohemia.
Four different manufacturers donated those 19 systems, as well as agreeing to install and monitor them — a value of approximately $15,000 per system, according to The Suffolk Times.
Roman Stone will manufacture the provisionally approved Norweco Singulair TNT systems.
“Roman Stone is pleased to share this important step forward with Suffolk County and proud to be manufacturing the Norweco Singulair wastewater treatment system because it is the right thing for the environment,” said Thomas Montalbine, Roman Stone’s president.
“We are proud to be providing good paying manufacturing jobs with full benefits to our valued employees and now are protecting our children’s future and the lifestyle we value as Long Islanders,” Montalbine added.
Under the program, any homeowner can now install preliminarily approved systems on their properties without a health department variance.
Two more years of monitoring is required before any system gets full approvals from the county.
“Improving our water quality is not only vital to the future sustainability of our ecosystem but it is essential to advancing long term local economic growth,” Lindsay said. “These waste water treatment systems will ultimately eliminate our nitrogen pollution – providing a better quality of life for our residents and greater opportunities for our fishing and clamming industries.”
Photo: Steve Bellone at Roman Stone Construction Company Tuesday. (courtesy photo)