Monday, December 14, 2015
Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant treats approximately 43% of Nassau County’s wastewater and discharges over 50 million gallons per day of treated effluent into the Western Bays, a sub-region of the South Shore Estuary. Currently, the plant does not currently remove nitrogen from effluent and this has taken a critical toll on our waterways.
The STP was submerged by a 9-foot wave during Superstorm Sandy, causing the release of 2.2 billion gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage. Nassau County successfully secured $830 million dollars for important repairs and upgrades. Senator Schumer has secured an additional $150 million for a denitrification system. However, additional funding is critically needed to build the ocean outfall pipe.
The Bay Park and Long Beach STPs contribute 80% of the nitrogen to the Western Bays complex, resulting in seriously degraded water quality, excessive Ulva (seaweed) growth, degraded salt marshes, low oxygen levels, and disappearing shellfish harvesting.
This investment will not only protect the environment, and create construction jobs; but will also create permanent long-term maritime jobs. The clam beds located near Nikon at Jones Beach theatre after being shut down for nearly 3 decades were direct beneficiaries of similar upgrades at another plant. After just two years of natural flushing those beds have reopened for business and created permanent maritime jobs.
The science is clear: The Bay Park STP outfall pipe must be relocated to the Atlantic Ocean, and the plant must be upgraded to remove nitrogen. Discharging Bay Park effluent further away from high-density coastal communities and sensitive enclosed embayment is the safest and most prudent course of action. It is critical that funds be directed to provide an ocean outfall pipe for the Bay Park sewage treatment plant.