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Yellow Pages > News & Articles > Business News

Long Island's Water Contaminated by Nitrogen

John Mitty Sunday, January 26, 2014

During a Thursday news conference, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone talked about improving water quality on Long Island.  A new study has just demonstrated that nitrogen levels in the drinking water on Long Island are compromising its quality.  Since groundwater and surface water are affected, that means that wetlands are also being reduced and that recreational waterways on the island are becoming unhealthy for animals, plants, and humans.  Results of the high nitrogen levels include algae blooms that cause brown and red tides.  These unhealthy blooms kill shellfish and fisheries and damage local businesses for fishermen on the island.  They are also bad for tourism.

Why is there so much nitrogen in local water?  Part of the reason may be that 70% of Suffolk County houses use cesspools, and many of these are in poor condition.  This causes nitrogen pollution to leach into the local watershed as well as into drinking water.  Water from cesspools and wells is not monitored for contamination by a public authority.  Most of the water on Long Island comes not from upstate, but from underground.  “I consider this issue the most important priority of my administration,” Bellone stated on Thursday.  This will come as welcome news to many Long Islanders who are concerned with public safety as well as the health of Long Island’s wildlife and fisheries.  

jmitty@longislandyellowpages.com

Appears In: Business News

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