Suffolk County Commercial Cesspools Will No Longer Be Grandfathered-in During Redevelopment

Commercial property owners undergoing renovations or expansions, take note of recent changes to the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.

New Septic System Legislation

The Suffolk County Legislature recently passed a bill to amend the portion of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code that regulates how waste water is handled, with the intent to improve water quality within the County. Much of Suffolk County is still not serviced by sewage treatment systems, but rather individual septic systems, which has resulted in nitrogen pollution.

What Will Change and When?

The County has historically required new homes to have septic systems with septic tanks since 1973, but homes with failing cesspools were previously given the choice whether or not to install septic tanks.  The bill requires that a septic tank be installed where an aging cesspool fails and needs replacement. New septic systems will also require permits as part of the bill, as well as permit fees. Additionally, sewage pump out contractors will be required to report both pump-outs and failed systems. This change is expected to become effective as of July 2019 after the bill is signed into law by County Executive Steve Bellone.

Commercial and Industrial Impact

The bill, however, will not only affect the residential community in the County. Commercial facilities that had been long-standing and exempt from changes in septic system requirements in their expansions or property redevelopment previously through grandfathering, will no longer be able to discharge untreated wastewater based on past usage; they will now be required to install advanced nitrogen removal systems, again helping to improve water quality by preventing large volumes of waste water to be discharged untreated by these facilities.

Walden Wastewater Services

Walden offers permitting, sampling, design, and site planning services to Commercial, Industrial, and Municipal Clients in Suffolk County. Give us a call at (516) 624-7200 to discuss how the new bill will affect your redevelopment project and check out our other services.

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