NEW WEBSITE GUIDES HOMEOWNERS IN CESSPOOL CARE
North Shore, Nassau County, NY. "Get Pumped, Long Island!" is the message at the heart of a recently-launched website hosted by a collaboration of Watershed Protection Committees, the Town of Oyster Bay and a local environmental organization. The site, www.getpumpedli.org, provides homeowners with valuable information on how their septic systems or cesspools operate and what routine maintenance should be performed to ensure worry-free operation in future. "Most septic systems receive no maintenance until they suddenly fail completely, leaving homeowners with an unlivable house, health concerns, and emergency repair bills," say the hosts of the site. "This program is aimed at saving our neighbors from this plight."
"Cesspools and septic systems are out of sight and out of mind until something goes wrong," says Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee director Eric Swenson. "This site provides a wealth of information that will enable homeowners to develop a routine maintenance program appropriate to their system and household usage." The website provides informative articles, downloadable fact sheets, Do's and Don'ts to prolong the life of your system, and even a discount coupon honored by many local septic system service companies.
The factsheets available on the site - www.getpumpedli.org - provide everything a homeowner should know about his or her system. This includes a primer of what types of system you may have, and how each functions; how to locate your system in the yard and determine what type you actually have installed; how to care for your system and prolong its life; and hiring and working with a wastewater professional to maintain your system effectively and economically.
"A properly designed and built septic system can reliably treat household sewage for years without attention, but not forever," said Sarah Deonarine of the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee."Among the most useful features of this site are the tips on working effectively with your service provider." Gathering and recording the right information during the inspection phase of a service call will help ensure that additional maintenance is scheduled appropriately, and dollars are not spent unnecessarily. The website provides blank forms for homeowners to record details of their own systems.
"The CESSPOOL Project Team has consulted with experts from around the country, making sure that we provide the best and most economical advice available to owners of home septic systems," reports Rob Crafa, Coordinator of the Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee. "Municipal sewage treatment plants are operated by professional engineers around the clock, but here on the north shore, tens of thousands of homeowners are responsible for their own treatment systems. Our goal is to provide these homeowners with guidance on doing this effectively and affordably."
"Septic Systems have been identified in several north shore locales (such as Crescent Beach, Glen Cove) as the source of bacteria which leads to beach closures and de-certification of shellfish grounds. They have also been identified as a significant source of nitrogen, a nutrient which in excess can lead to harmful algae blooms and lack of oxygen in our bay waters. Hopefully, this is an additional incentive to make sure our systems are working as they should," said Paul DeOrsay, Director of Friends of the Bay.
The C.E.S.S.P.O.O.L. (Coordinated Environmental Solutions to Septic Problems Occurring On Long island) Project team members are: the Manhasset Bay, Hempstead Harbor and Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committees, the Town of Oyster Bay, and Friends of the Bay. Key elements of the project have been an educational conference on septic systems for municipal officials, two pilot training programs for septic system inspectors, a professional survey of owners of homes with septic systems and cesspools, and the current public education campaign: Get Pumped, Long Island!
Print versions of the materials offered on the website are available in Town and Village offices, many public libraries, and from any of the CESSPOOL Team member organizations.
Protection Committee Contacts:
Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee
Manhasset Bay Protection Committee
Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee