A feasibility study has begun to investigate private septic systems in various North Shore communities that officials have said are responsible for the contamination that has closed a Glen Cove beach for more than five years.
Conducted by the White Plains firm D&B Engineers and Architects and expected to take up to eight months to complete, the study would identify sewage management options for homes in Glen Head, Glenwood Landing, Flower Hill, Roslyn Harbor, Sands Point and Sea Cliff that are not connected to the Glen Cove sewer system.
“Nitrogen and pathogens from old, failing or unmaintained systems are sources of pollution not only to the harbor but to our driving water aquifer,” Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove) said in a statement. “Finding solutions to this problem has been a focus for me.”
North Shore residences make up 10 percent of households and businesses in Nassau County not connected to public sewers, according to county figures.
Cesspools from these areas likely caused the contamination that closed Crescent Beach in Glen Cove in 2009 and ended shell fishing in the area, officials said.
Officials said untreated water containing bacteria and nitrogen — which in the past was believed to be naturally absorbed into the soil — has been known to make its way into nearby bays and aquifers due to high ground water levels, changes in ground water movement and poorly-designed septic systems.