East Hills considers requirement for nitrogen-reducing septic systems

East Hills considers requirement for nitrogen-reducing septic systems
East Hills Board of Trustees listen to a presentation on nitrogen-reducing septic systems. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The Village of East Hills is considering the requirement of nitrogen-reducing septic systems for new construction in the village in keeping with initiatives from Nassau County to encourage environmentally conscious waste systems.

The Board of Trustees listened to a presentation given by Justin Jobin, an environmental scientist with Coastal Wastewater Solution, which is consulting with Nassau County on its initiative to push nitrogen-reducing septic systems.

These environmentally-conscious systems are built to prevent the flow of nitrogen into local water sources.

Jobin said the North Shore is susceptible to nitrogen pollution from septic systems, which are responsible for a majority of water pollutants.

The effects of nitrogen pollution include fish kills and harmful algae growth.

To promote the use of nitrogen-reducing septic systems, Nassau County created the S.E.P.T.I.C. program.

This grant program offers up to $20,000 to eligible property owners to go towards the purchase and installation of one of these new septic tanks.

Eligible applicants are small businesses, residents or nonprofits that produce less than 1,000 gallons a day in sanitary flow, which is equivalent to a nine-bedroom home. It is also only available for replacements of an existing septic system and not for new construction.

The program has a total of $8 million in available funding, which can support 403 applicants. It is funded by state funds and federal American Rescue Plan funds.

Jobin said the program is seeking additional funding and is looking towards villages to support the initiative by passing ordinances that progress the use of nitrogen-reducing septic systems.

While the village did not make any decision related to the issues, Mayor Michael Koblenz said they are interested in requiring environmentally conscious septic systems in new and substantially improved homes.

The East Hills Board of Trustees will convene at 5:30 p.m. on July 18.

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