Why Does it Matter? How Does it Work? How much money can you get back?
According to the World Health Organization, a single human produces 9.9 lbs. of nitrogen per year in both solid and liquid waste. We flush this waste without much thought as to “the sanitary system” and what happens next—as long as it just goes away, we move on with our day.
On Long Island, we have a sole source aquifer. This means that we get all of our water from the ground. So here, “away” means that the waste that is flushed is stored in tanks underground and the nitrogen that leaches out of the waste basically goes right into the groundwater.
The groundwater does not sit still—it is moving underground! Where does it go? It continuously flows toward surface waters.
That means that the nitrogen traveling in the groundwater ends up in local water bodies and is a food source for harmful algal blooms and other toxins that affect our health and the ecosystem’s health-it’s a serious issue for everyone.
The good news is that it is 2021. Now we know that we can cultivate good bacteria to help us. This is similar to our own digestive health. Within the new I/A systems, the technology provides a platform where controlled bacteria can break down the waste and process the nitrogen on the spot! The amount of nitrogen reduced is over 65% with no detriment to our health or environment.
That is a significant difference from the old conventional systems that do nothing but leach the waste. The new systems work on our behalf to actually remove the nitrogen with only a minimal visual impact that can be landscaped. The benefit is restoring a healthy environment with clean water. The time to upgrade is now while rebates are available!
Suffolk County approved all sanitary systems and had a grant program.
The Town of Southampton provides grant monies after systems are approved/installed.
How do I know if I am eligible for an upgraded system?
Anyone can upgrade to an I/A system. You can apply for grant monies to offset the cost. There is no income limit for County grants, the Town is amending their requirements. Follow links to the grant programs for more info.
Are there maintenance costs?
Yes. A system requires electricity and a maintenance contract to ensure it is working properly. The Town will provide rebates for the first year of contract costs. It is typically $200-$400/annually.