HAUPPAUGE - The Long Island Clean Water Partnership hosted its fifth annual "Water We Going To Do?" conference in Hauppauge Thursday.

The conference is designed to give Long Islanders a progress report regarding improving drinking and surface water quality. It also gives environmental groups, elected officials and scientists a chance to tout improvements made regarding nitrogen reduction in Long Island's waters.

The group is promoting alternative state-of-the-art septic systems and upgrading sewage districts as a way of eliminating nitrogen pollution. They also favor a surcharge on water use as a way to pay for those improvements.

County officials say Suffolk residents currently pay $1.30 per gallon, well below average rates for the rest of the country. The proposed surcharge would be an extra dollar for every 1,000 gallons used.

There is no current plan for state lawmakers to include a water surcharge referendum on the November ballot.

The Clean Water Partnership recently got a boost from the state Department of Conservation. The agency announced a five-year plan to research the scope of nitrogen contamination in Long Island's waters.