First Comprehensive Waste Water Treatment Infrastructure Data Collection
(Hauppauge, NY) In a move designed to provide baseline information deemed critical to economic development and environmental planning in Suffolk, County Executive Steve Bellone and Deputy Presiding Officer (DPO) Wayne Horsley today announced a comprehensive initiative to map all waste water treatment facilities – both public and private – across the entire county.
“Despite the critical importance of waste water treatment facilities to the County’s environment and economic future, no central data base existed that would provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of the County’s waste water treatment resources,” said County Executive Bellone. “Now, we will have a clear and precise record of every treatment facility, large or small, public or private, operated by federal, state, county, town or village. While long overdue, this ambitious and difficult data collection process will give us a true picture of where we need to concentrate resources to promote economic growth.”
“The first step to growing our economy and protecting our environment is to expand our sewer infrastructure,” said DPO Horsley. “To that end, we need to readily know what’s in the ground both in the public sector as well as private. If we are going to look at innovative ways to grow we must have comprehensive mapping.” DPO Horsley is Chair of the Economic Development Committee, and is responsible for creating the Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Panel charged with developing a unified sewer district strategy for the County.
The Department of Economic Development and Planning developed the study in consultation with the Departments of Health and Public Works under the direction of Planning Director Sarah Lansdale. The cross-functional team gathered data on the location of all public and private sewer treatment facilities in Suffolk, the acreage and boundaries of all sewage treatment districts and factors such as the total average volume of sewage treated, and the number of people residing in a given treatment area.
Among the preliminary findings:
- Less than 25% of the county is served by sewage treatment facilities.
- There are 192 sewage treatment plants (STP) in Suffolk, both public and privately operated
- The total permitted flow for all 192 plants is 60.5 million gallons per day (mgd).
- Of the total permitted flow, over half is accounted for by the Southwest Sewer District.
- The 27 Suffolk County sewer districts and two SC Community College campuses served by 25 County-owned treatment plants have a permitted flow discharge of 42.7 million gallons per day.
- The 152 private STPs in Suffolk represent only 8.2 million gallons of permitted flow per day.
- There is a combined total of 15 federal, town and village STPs, with 9.5 mgd permitted flow
According to Deputy County Executive and Commissioner of Economic Development Joanne Minieri, “Planning Director Sarah Lansdale and a team of experts from Planning, Health and Public Works did a tremendous job pulling together a massive amount of data that tells us where current waste treatment facilities.”
“The Long Island Builders Institute (LIBI) strongly supports the initiative regarding sewer capacity in Suffolk County as the results can provide a blueprint going forward for both increased economic development and infrastructure commitments for the county,” said Mitchell H Pally, Chief Executive of LIBI. “We look forward to working with County Executive Bellone, DPO Horsley and the Legislature to implement the findings and provide significant economic opportunities for the residents of the county.”
“Suffolk’s future is directly linked to our ability to manage and treat our waste water effectively.” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Mapping the numerous STPs is a terrific accomplishment that allows us to plan our future around clean drinking water and healthy bays. Bravo to County Executive Bellone and DPO Horsley for getting this needed initiative completed quickly.”