Editorial: Time To Act

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When it comes to low-nitrogen residential septic systems — technology which environmentalists and towns hope will aid in efforts to reduce nitrogen-load in local waters — we’re on board.

While there are pros and cons to most modern technologies — the Deepwater Wind South Fork Wind Farm has brought vigorous debate to that topic — the overall benefit to the environment seems to outweigh the concerns seasonal homeowners may have. While some have raised the issue of the effectiveness and extra costs associated with running these systems in seasonal households, it appears the benefits far outweigh the cons on this particular front. With grant money available at both the town and county levels, it’s possible for certain homeowners to get most of their costs covered. And while there may be some cases where proceeding with caution is warranted, South Fork communities are dependent on the waterfront and the economy it creates. Moving away from antiquated cesspools and ancient septic systems toward cleaner technology is worth the extra effort, and the extra money.

This week, the Village of North Haven announced it would move forward with the introduction of a bill that would mimic those in place in Southampton — essentially requiring new homes and substantial renovations in water-sensitive areas to include nitrogen-reducing systems in their plans. They should be lauded for this move.

As we have opined before, it would be nice to see the Village of Sag Harbor make a proactive move in a similar direction, a move its own Harbor Committee has recommended. As a small community prone to algal blooms, shellfishing restrictions and other harbingers of poor water quality, it would seem the time to act for Sag Harbor — a village that has seen tremendous residential growth — is now.

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