A view of downtown Amityville. (June 5, 2011)

A view of downtown Amityville. (June 5, 2011) Credit: Alexi Knock

Preliminary results of a Suffolk County study of about 108 miles of sewer pipe in waterfront neighborhoods from Amityville to Islip suggest most of that system is in good shape.

The study of  the county’s Southwest Sewer District focuses on stormwater and groundwater entering sewage facilities through manholes or cracks in the pipes, decreasing the system’s capacity to handle waste and potentially adding to operating costs.

Because most of the pipes in the study area are below groundwater, which exerts an inward pressure on the pipes, “infiltration” of groundwater and “inflow” of stormwater into the pipes is more common than sewage escaping from them.

Preliminary results, presented at a meeting Wednesday night at Town Hall Annex in Babylon, indicate that most of the pipes in the most at-risk areas are in fair condition or better.

A $20 million county effort to fight infiltration and inflow uses closed-circuit cameras, dye and smoke to detect leaks, with repairs scheduled to be made in the next two years.

Data that would help engineers estimate the amount of extraneous water now being handled by the system was not yet available.

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