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Cronin to outline nitrate data for Water Quality Board

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Town Engineer John Cronin will speak to the Water Quality Board Thursday night about water issues in the Center.

JULIE LANE PHOTO
Town Engineer John Cronin will speak to the Water Quality Board Thursday night about water issues in the Center.

On Thursday night, Town Engineer John Cronin will share with the Water Quality Improvement Projects Advisory Board results of a study he and summer intern Andrei Oraseanu  developed this summer on nitrate levels in the Island’s water, particularly in the Center.

Excessive nitrate levels on any part of the Island are a critical issue affecting the single aquifer that provides drinking water to most of the town. But Mr. Cronin said problems in the Center are particularly critical.

The Water Quality Board has been discussing ways to provide funding for larger projects in the year ahead while most of the money it has allocated in this first year of its activity has been focused on grants to individual property owners to upgrade septics to the “I/A” nitrogen-reducing systems Suffolk County has approved.

Most of the grants recommended by the Water Quality Board and approved by the Town Board averaged  $15,000. Money was also allocated for a nitrogen-reducing septic system at Wades Beach for $20,860.

In the future, the Water Quality Board has focused on two areas on which  it wants to concentrate money for large projects — the Center and Fresh Pond. If it’s a choice, Mr. Cronin hopes the report will convince members to undergo a major effort in the Center first.

The meeting Thursday is at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room where Mr. Cronin will present data he and Mr. Oraseanu brought last week to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

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