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Bellone Announces Lottery for Second Phase of Suffolk County Septic Demonstration Pilot Program

Categories: County Executive | Author: probinson | Posted: 3/23/2016 | Views: 7949
Additional Homeowners to Receive Free State-of-the-Art Septic System to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution &Enhance Water Quality


(Hauppauge, NY-March 21, 2016) –Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced today a lottery which will be held for the second phase of the County’s Septic Demonstration Program for single family homeowners.  Applications for the second lottery are due Friday, April 8, 2016, and winners will receive a free advanced wastewater treatment system – which includes free installation, monitoring and maintenance for five years.


The program is part of Suffolk County’s Reclaim Our Water initiative, a comprehensive plan to improve the region’s water quality by reducing nitrogen pollution through the implementation of advanced on-site wastewater treatment systems and means of sewering in targeted areas.


“Suffolk County has made tremendous strides in reclaiming our water since we launched this initiative nearly two years ago,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.  “The first phase of the septic demonstration program has been extremely successful to date as we have received tremendous feedback from our residents who are currently participating in the program and from our wastewater experts who are managing the program.  This second phase will be essential to our region as we intend to integrate new wastewater technologies to Suffolk County to help combat our region’s nitrogen pollution crisis.”


The application for the second lottery of the Suffolk County Septic Demonstration Program can be found on or by emailing


Minimum requirements for Suffolk County residents include year-round residency, living in a household with 3-9 people and not residing in a sewer district. 


In December 2014, County Executive Bellone and officials conducted an initial lottery for the first phase of the state-of-the-art pilot program.  Nineteen homeowners out of more than 150 applicants were randomly selected to receive a free advanced wastewater treatment system on their property.


Eighteen of the nineteen systems were installed over a nine-month period, and are currently being monitored by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and wastewater industry experts. The 19th system will be installed this April and includes a pressurized shallow drain field to provide further treatment and disposal. Based on early results, some of the installed systems could be provisionally approved by the Department of Health Services for residential  use by the end of the Summer.


The systems that were used for the first phase of the program were donated by four national manufacturers, all of whom have extensive experience across the country in removing excess nitrogen from residential and commercial properties, and consisted of six different technologies.  The advanced wastewater treatment systems were each valued at up to $16,000 per system.


The second phase of the County’s septic demonstration program is designed to utilize two types of innovative alternative onsite wastewater treatment systems that are designed to reduce total nitrogen in septic system effluent to 19 mg/l or less. 


One of the technologies that will be incorporated in the second phase is a pressurized shallow narrow drain field system, which will distribute treated effluent where nutrient adsorption is at its highest. The shallow narrow drain field technology is being used in one of the systems installed in the first phase of the program.


The number of homeowners who will be selected for the second lottery will be based upon the number of responses received by the County in regards to two Request for Expressed Interest (RFEI) that were issued to manufacturers nationwide.  Applications for the RFEIs are due to the County on April 8, 2016 as well.


The majority of the advanced wastewater treatment systems that will be installed in the first and second phases of the Suffolk County Septic Demonstration Program were observed by county experts on a tour of septic programs conducted in other states in the northeast.  Suffolk County is modeling its homeowner education program on a successful program that has been established in Rhode Island over the past fifteen years. 


For more information on Suffolk County’s septic demonstration program and information on the second lottery for single family homeowners, log onto or email

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