A major study, now under way, will explore new methods of discharging treated wastewater from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, according to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.
“For decades, the community has sought alternatives for discharging treated sewage from the Bay Park plant,” Mangano said. “Today those hopes come alive, thanks to environmental cleanup commitments made by Congressman Peter King, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and my administration. Together we will work to improve our environment and repair the county’s aging sewage-treatment plants.”
The study will lead to recommendations for onsite upgrades and improvements, and help determine the feasibility of constructing an outfall pipe that would extend into the Atlantic Ocean. Treated discharge, or effluent, is currently released into Reynolds Channel, north of Long Beach and south of the Bay Park plant.
CH2M Hill, a consulting, design and construction firm, is conducting the study, which is being funded by county capital improvement funds and a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA grant will provide 55 percent of the project cost, up to a maximum of $275,500. The county funds are contingent on the plant’s compliance with an order by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to make necessary repairs after a spill of treated solids into Reynolds Channel in October 2010. According to Mangano, conditions at the Bay Park plant have dramatically improved, and it has not incurred any environmental violations in nearly 18 months.
“The general consensus is that any and all upgrades to the plant will improve quality of life for the communities surrounding the plant,” said Kristin Ochtera, a Bay Park resident and a longtime advocate of improvements at the plant. “The devil is in the details, and the definition of upgrades. An outfall pipe extending into the ocean will dramatically improve the water quality of the western bays, no argument.”