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Letter: Need new way to dispose of sewage

Shown are digestor tanks at the Bay Park

Shown are digestor tanks at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway. At right is a 60-foot-high gas sphere on March 9, 2011. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Red tide and other marine algae blooms caused by sewage outfalls are on the rise ["Sewage plant improved," News, Aug. 1].

Every year, millions of gallons of treated effluents are dispelled into the waters surrounding Long Island. The solution is better engineering standards to design more efficient treatment plants. Sometimes the older methods of clarifying and leaching in dryer pens are more efficient than direct discharge to outfalls.

It's time to ask whether we want to keep swimming in a toilet bowl or to create something for the future. How about engineers coming up with a plant that uses leached, dried effluent as a fuel to produce steam to run turbines and generate power? The plant could be designed on the same principle as garbage-burning plants.

The biggest problem is that leaching holding pens are usually very large and require long drying cycles, but once a cycle is developed, it would be a continuous supply of fuel.

Roy Willis, Massapequa

Editor's note: The writer is a retired construction manager engineer of power generating plants.