On February 17, 2017 Legislator Bridget Fleming and the Southampton Town Conservation Board visited the site of an Onsite Wastewater Treatment System, the Eljen Geotextile Sand Filter (GSF), on the occasion of an inspection by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. The group discussed the advantages offered by this new system compared to that of the other systems that have also been approved by the County Health Department.
The Eljen GSF (Geotextile Sand Filter) System technology is a based-on research conducted by nationally recognized engineering scientists from the University of Connecticut. The GSF is a cost-effective upgrade from other septic technologies comprised of a proprietary two stage Bio-Matt pretreatment process; the geotextile modules apply a better-than-secondary septic tank effluent to the soil, increasing the soil’s ability to accept the effluent.
In November of 2016, Suffolk County revised the residential construction standards to allow for shallow narrow drain fields to take the place of the familiar perforated precast cement leaching rings that are elements of a conventional onsite septic system.
As a part of the “Reclaim Our Waters” initiative, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services has been working to move upgraded Wastewater Treatment Systems through the approval process so that they can be implemented for both residential and commercial use. This new technology is vital to reducing contaminates and particularly nitrogen levels in our water bodies, which has been recently recognized to be a primary cause of numerous outbreaks of Harmful Algal Blooms throughout the county.
Legislator Fleming was pleased to accompany the other officials at the site. “It’s gratifying to see one of our important septic reforms being implemented by a private homeowner. The shallow narrow drain field replaces the standard rings in a conventional septic system and allows natural vegetation, microorganisms and other natural elements to do the work of pulling contaminants out of wastewater, and reducing harmful contamination to our bays and harbors.
Suffolk County Deputy County Executive Peter Scully, who is heading up County Executive Steven Bellone’s Reclaim Our Water initiative commented, “The installation of a Geotextile Sand Filter is another milestone in our comprehensive program to improve water quality.”
Homeowner and Southampton Town Trustees Bill Pell said, “As a Southampton Town Trustee I am aware of the results of nitrates to our environment and the effects it can have on our waterways. I am excited to be the first homeowner in Suffolk County to implement this system in my home. I hope others with follow suit.”
Southampton Town Conservation Chair Harry Ludlow said, “The Conversation Board is extremely interested in exploring ways that nitrogen loading can be reduce in our aquifers and our waterways”.