HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – The Suffolk County Legislature approved a $250,000 grant to the Bayport-Blue Point Library to build an advance wastewater treatment system that will reduce nitrogen loading into the local groundwater. The grant will allow the library to replace two existing outdated sanitary systems with an Innovative and Alternative Onsite Waste Water System (I/A OWTS). This state of the art system drastically reduces the amount of nitrogen discharge from waste water and is a major boost to the well-being of Suffolk’s drinking water.
The former convent of the Sisters of Saint Ursula was sold to the Bayport-Blue Point Library and is being converted into a new library facility. The construction is currently underway and plans were made to replace two existing sanitary systems with a new I/A OWTS. The property is within the 0-2 year contributing area to the Great South Bay. Nitrogen discharge takes less than two years to filter into the bay and is a major threat the health of waterbody. The close proximity to critical surface waters makes every pound of nitrogen that is loaded into the ground from the property significant. The new system is expected to reduce the nitrogen discharge by approximately 247 pounds per year.
The Bayport-Blue Point Library originally submitted an application for a grant through the Suffolk County Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program (WQPRP). The grant was sponsored by Presiding Officer Rob Calarco. However, the grant was rejected earlier this year due to a limited amount of funding. Working with the WQPRP Committee and County Executive Steve Bellone, Calarco was able to find an alternative funding source for the project through the Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund. Introductory Resolution 1440, which approves the grant, was passed by the Legislature at their June 9th meeting.
“This is an important project because protecting our drinking water in Suffolk County is priority number one,” said Calarco. “I have been working with County Executive Bellone toward that goal and I am thankful to him and his administration for their work to make this grant happen. The Bayport-Blue Point community is soon going to have a new library that will be a huge asset to their residents. This grant ensures that they will be served not just with educational and community opportunities but also by facility that protects the local environment.”
“As the Bayport-Blue Point Library District moves forward with construction of our new library at the former St. Ursula Center, we’re also keenly aware of our obligation to create a facility that meets Suffolk County’s public health and water quality standards,” said Library Director Mike Firestone. “We also have an obligation to be an environmentally responsible neighbor. That’s why we are proud to be the first public library in Suffolk County to install an I/A septic system.”
Firestone added, “To help us cover the costs associated with installation of this system, we are extremely grateful that the Suffolk County Legislature has stepped forward to provide financial support. The Library District is particularly appreciative of the efforts of Suffolk Presiding Officer Rob Calarco and County Legislator Anthony Piccirillo for their leadership on our behalf.”
"I am happy to see that the new library will not only serve the community but protect our environment" stated Legislator Piccirillo. "I would like to thank Presiding Officer Calarco for getting this bill to the floor and passed in bipartisan fashion" he added. Piccirillo represents the district where the new library property is located, while the library serves portions of both Piccirillo and Calarco’s districts.