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East Hampton Town eyes wastewater treatment options
After more than a year of debate over what to do with East Hampton’s now-closed scavenger waste treatment plant — it currently is used only as a holding tank for sewage trucks — the town will start a comprehensive review of its wastewater treatment options and costs, beginning with a public meeting Monday at 1 p.m. in Town Hall to discuss the scope of the $200,000 study.
Expected to take six to nine months to complete, the study is designed to come up with an action plan outlying how to cope with the growing need for sewage treatment services that have overwhelmed existing treatment facilities, from private cesspools to the municipal sewage treatment plant.
“We have businesses that have to be pumped out four times a year ... that’s expensive,” said town environmental protection director Kimberly Shaw.
The study will look at three related areas — wastewater management, scavenger waste management and water quality monitoring. Once those broad goals are dealt with, further studies are expected to deal with specific engineering issues such as the possible repair and expansion of the town’s scavenger waste treatment plant.
That plant on Springs-Fireplace Road was designed to treat 45,000 gallons of scavenger waste a day, but was closed in late 2011 because it failed to meet state environmental standards. Last October, the town board voted to spend more than $200,000 to remove more than a decade’s accumulation of dried sludge and scum in its treatment beds, which created pollution problems when they flooded because of a heavy rain.
The town board last year looked at the possibility of turning the plant over to a private operator, but balked at the concept when one private operator said it would take over the plant only if it could expand the plant’s capacity to justify the expense of repairs and upgrades.
At Monday’s meeting, Pio Lombardo, a principal of Lombardo Associates, will give a presentation on wastewater and scavenger waste issues, while Kevin Phillips and Stephanie Davis of the FPM Group will talk about proposed water quality monitoring.