Five Sewage Treatment Plants flow into the Western Bays of L.I.
Beginning in the late 90s, SPLASH urged Nassau County and NYS to extend the Bay Park STP and the Jones Beach STP outfall pipes into the Atlantic Ocean. The Jones Beach Project was successfully completed in 2012.
In 2014, much of the area in the vicinity of Jones Beach Sewage Treatment Plant has been recertified for clamming. This indicates that the bay is restoring itself and the water is becoming cleaner now that the effluent has been removed from the area. Pristine conditions are returning and clamming has been reopened, demonstrating that if we help mother nature, she will reward our efforts and bring back the bay.
The Bay Park Plant, alone, pumps an average of 60 million gallons of effluent into Reynolds Channel EACH DAY! The outfall pipe plan has taken on momentum due to a severe release of sewer sludge in 2010 and the complete failure of the Plant during Superstorm Sandy.
All of the plants have been cited for release of high bacteria levels, high levels of suspended solids, high levels of chlorine, as well as mercury violations. High levels of nitrogen promote excessive seaweed and algae growth, fostering an environment where many kinds of fish and other aquatic life cannot survive due to severely depleted oxygen levels. High levels of suspended solids block vital sunlight required by indigenous vegetation for photosynthesis, further reducing oxygen levels, killing fish and destroying healthy vegetation.
Rerouting eliminates significant discharges into the Western Bays and will allow this area to recover as a vital ecosystem and an economic engine for commercial and recreational industries.
In 2002, Operation SPLASH lobbied the DEC to give this matter serious attention. In 2010, Nassau County received a SPDES enforcement penalty of 1.5 million dollars from the Department of Environmental Conservation. The penalty amount was directed, by the DEC, to upgrade the Bay Park Plant and perform a feasibility study for an ocean outfall pipe.
In 2012, following Superstorm Sandy, Operation SPLASH was appointed by the Nassau County Executive to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant Reconstruction Oversight Committee.