NEW YORK – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed legislation authorizing funding to install an advanced on-site wastewater treatment system in Lake Ronkonkoma County Park.
The upgraded system would remove approximately 2,100 pounds of nitrogen from wastewater generated at the site per year, and is part of a multi-pronged approach to revitalize Lake Ronkonkoma.
“One of the issues that I have been advocating for years has been our declining water quality and the increasing amount of nitrogen loadings into our water, including Lake Ronkonkoma,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “We have been working closely with members of the community, including the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group, for several months and have made significant progress on this issue. The installation of this advanced wastewater treatment system shows that we stand united with the residents of Lake Ronkonkoma and committed to restoring and protecting this lake.”
The installation of the system at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park will be similar to the installation that was completed at Suffolk’s Meschutt County Park in Spring 2016. The system is expected to be installed at Lake Ronkonkoma County park by Summer 2017.
The system installed will be a Norweco Hydro Kinetic wastewater treatment system. When operational, it will treat in excess of 1,500 gallons of wastewater per day. The system will settle out solid waste, denitrify the liquid waste and disperse the treated liquids to the surrounding area through a leaching system. The effluent will be monitored the Suffolk County Department of Health Services to ensure that denitrification goals are being met.
The project will cost approximately $407,000 and will come at no additional cost to taxpayers. The funding will come from the New Enhanced Suffolk County Water Quality Protection Program. The suggested use of funds was recommended by the Suffolk County Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program Review Committee in January 2017.
In November 2016, County Executive Bellone was joined by local officials, community members and community groups, including the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization, Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society, Ronkonkoma Civic Association, Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce, Nesconset Sachem Civic Association, W.S. Commerdinger, Jr. County Park Preservation Society and the Feal Good Foundation, to announce a restoration plan for Lake Ronkonkoma and the surrounding area, which included the installation of an advanced wastewater treatment system.
Since then, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works and Department of Parks have jointly cleared all debris, dead trees and brush from the former bookstore site along Lake Ronkonkoma as well as manicured the land, installed a fence and plan to refine the steps on the property.
In addition, the Department of Public Works has removed septic and draining structures on the Bavarian Inn site by the lake and is currently working to restore the property. To date, nearly 40 storm drain structures and approximately 240 yards of surfaced debris has been removed from the site. The property will be top soiled and hydro seeded – with native plantings to be planted along the slopes to minimize erosion.
The improvements at Lake Ronkonkoma are part of Suffolk County’s Reclaim Our Water initiative, which includes the securing of nearly $400 million in funding for the largest expansion of sewers in Suffolk County since the 1970s and the release of the 2015 Suffolk County Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan that provides critical recommendations on how to manage and protect the region’s water supply.
Pictured Above: Paul Albert, Chairman W.S. Commerdinger, Jr. County Park Preservation Society, Legislator Tom Cilmi, Lauren Moy, Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning, Evelyn Vollgraff, Co-founder Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group, Fred Gorman, Chairman Nesconset Sachem Civic Association, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Matt Balkham, Co-founder Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group, Legislator Leslie Kennedy, Bruce Edwards, President Ronkonkoma Civic Association, Dave Halinski, Member Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group.
Press Release by Vanessa Baird-Streeter.
Press Release Made Available by the Office of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.