Water District’s Nitrogen Removal Far Exceeds State Expectations

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It is no secret that nitrogen discharge is one of the greatest threats to Long Island’s bays. More and more towns and villages are removing septic systems and replacing them with sewer systems or new smart septic systems to limit the amount of nitrogen that ends up in our bays. Due to its smart investments, efficient operations and care for the environment, the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District (GNWPCD) is preventing excess nitrogen from entering Manhasset Bay.

“Our chief goal at the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District is to protect our environment and the health of our service area,” GNWPCD Chairman Steve Reiter said. “As a waterfront community, it is vital that we limit the amount of nitrogen that goes into our natural environment, and we are proud to say that the GNWPCD does so in ways that far exceed expectations. Our treatment facility is always running efficiently and effectively, and this is a testament to the hard work of our employees and superintendent.”

Since the GNWPCD has been in operation, its nitrogen removal has consistently met and surpassed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements. The District upgraded its treatment facility several years ago, allowing the inclusion of the Village of Great Neck’s sewer system and enabling the District to eliminate an antiquated sewage treatment plant. The original plant’s 1.5 million gallons per day flow capacity is now being treated at a much higher level and nitrogen removal rate before entering the bay. From 2014 onwards, the District has removed over 217,000 more pounds of nitrogen than its permit required. That is nearly 20 tons of nitrogen per year that is not discharged into Manhasset Bay.

“Reducing nitrogen levels is vital to the health of Manhasset Bay,” GNWPCD Commissioner Patty Katz said. “It is our aim to continue to find ways to minimize nitrogen discharge through advanced technology and performance proficiency.”

Another initiative taken by the District has helped it eliminate septic tank use by using its extra capacity to connect homes and businesses close to the District’s borders. To date, it has connected the Americana Shopping Center and numerous privately-owned homes. It has also conducted a sewer study for the sewering of the Plandome Road Business District and surrounding homes. In addition, the District is in the process of preparing a sewer feasibility study for the unsewered portions of Great Neck Estates and Harbor Hills.

—Submitted by the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District

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