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Southold Town’s first upgraded septic system installed under county program

A Mattituck couple has been selected to have their septic system replaced with an advanced wastewater treatment system through Suffolk County’s Reclaim Our Water initiative.

Construction at Jack and Maureen Hurley’s waterfront home started Wednesday morning where their cesspool was replaced with a nitrogen reducing septic system called “Hydro-Action.”

“With our proximity to the water, we wanted to do everything we could to help,” Mr. Hurley said. “Luckily, we got the grant.”

The county is offering grants of up to $11,000 to help pay the cost of new systems, which reduces the amount of nitrogen that goes into groundwater. Voters last year overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Community Preservation Fund, which allows up to 20 percent of the funding to be spent on water quality improvement programs such as this.

Tom and Jennifer Foster — Cutchogue residents and owners of Ecology Supply Company in Riverhead — installed a Hydro-Action system at the Hurley’s home Wednesday. Those systems, which are designed to reduce nitrogen from entering waterways and protect brown tide and fish kills, became popular after county launched its grant program, Mr. Foster said.

Protecting waters from nitrogen loading is something Mr. Hurley believes is a very important issue.

“I have a feeling it won’t be long be long before this type of system is required,” he said.

In order to qualify for a grant, an applicant must live in a single-family house year round; vacation or rental homes are not eligible. Visit www.reclaimourwater.info for more information.

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Photo credit: Rachel Siford