Suez North America, operator of Nassau’s sewer system, will construct the first water recycling system at the county’s Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh — a move expected to save 1 million gallons of fresh water daily.
The project will use treated wastewater for processes at the plant such as cooling down generators and washing equipment and tanks.
The program, to be funded by Suez, is expected to cost $1.1 million, with completion by January.
“We are making this investment because we believe the protection of the water supply offers a better future for the residents of Nassau County,” Eric Gernath, chief executive of Suez North America, said at a news conference Wednesday at the plant.
The recycling system uses treated effluent that is processed a second time to remove solids and kill certain bacteria and other microbes. Cedar Creek currently uses 600 gallons of groundwater per minute.
The new system, which is expected to save the company more than $350,000 annually, also will make it unnecessary to pump clean water from the county’s sole source aquifer for plant operations.
A similar process would be planned for the county’s Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway in the coming years.
Suez has operated a similar recycling system at its plant in Los Angeles for the past 20 years, saving a total of 200 billion gallons of water, Gernath said.
“We have a laser focus on protecting our aquifer,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “And today marks a very important step in doing just that.”
“We are saving water; we are saving the environment and we are saving taxpayer dollars,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Suez has operated Nassau’s three major wastewater treatment plants, 53 pumping stations and 3,000 miles of sewers since January 2015. The contract will pay the French-based company at least $1.14 billion over 20 years.