New Cesspool & Septic System Laws in Suffolk County

The use of cesspools in new construction has been banned since 1973, and they cannot be used as replacements for old ones. Homeowners are not required to replace their current systems, but if they decide to do so, the new systems must meet the same standards as those established in 1973.

What Homeowners Need to Know About Recent Cesspool Regulations in Suffolk County

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has signed legislation banning the installation of cesspools, effective July 1, 2019, which have been identified as a primary source of nitrogen pollution that has degraded water quality throughout Suffolk County in Long Island, NY. The ban will advance water quality efforts and set the stage for the use of new technologies that reduce nitrogen in residential wastewater by up to 70%. The legislation also requires the wastewater industry to provide data regarding system replacement and pumping activities to the Department of Health Services and requires permits for replacement of existing systems.

Homeowners who choose to replace existing cesspools and septic systems must meet the same minimum standards that have been required for entirely new systems since 1973.

Replacement of existing cesspools and septic systems will require registration of the new system with the Department of Health Services. The changes are part of a multi-pronged effort to combat nitrogen pollution, which has been identified as the primary source of nitrogen pollution that contributes to harmful algal blooms, beach closures and fish kills.

New Septic Tank Law in Suffolk County Launches to Combat Nitrogen Pollution

Suffolk County Legislature passed new changes in October 2020 that require septic improvement and innovative treatment systems, effective July 1, 2021. Nitrogen-reducing systems are required for new family residential construction, major reconstruction projects, new multi-family or non-residential projects, and all new commercial projects. Septic improvements and alternative onsite wastewater treatment systems are exempt for certain projects.

The new regulations aim to address the problem of nitrogen entering ground and surface water, which impacts water quality and ecosystems. Suffolk County launched its Septic Improvement Program in 2017 to help cover the expense of upgrading local systems through low interest financing, grants, and rebates. Officials hope the new law and financial assistance will lead to more residents and businesses taking action to restore water quality in the county.

Protecting Our Water: Suffolk County’s New Cesspool & Septic System Regulations

The recent cesspool regulations in Suffolk County are a crucial step towards improving water quality and combating nitrogen pollution, while the ban on cesspools and the requirement for nitrogen-reducing systems in new construction and major reconstruction projects will help to reduce the harmful effects of nitrogen on the environment.

Homeowners who choose to replace existing cesspools and septic systems must meet the same minimum standards as new systems, and the wastewater industry must provide data to the Department of Health Services. Ultimately, with the launch of the Septic Improvement Program and the new regulations, Suffolk County is taking important steps towards restoring and protecting its water quality for future generations.

Murph’s Drainage Solutions: The Trusted Name in Wastewater Management Services

As a cross-generational family business, we pride ourselves in providing world-class wastewater management services at competitive prices, including cesspool and septic pumping & sewer and drain cleaning – for general maintenance and emergencies alike. At Murph’s Drainage Solutions, we ensure that your systems run without a hitch, because you should never have to worry about sewage problems.

So why wait? Contact us today and experience Murph’s difference!