LINDENHURST - State lawmakers held a special hearing today to find ways to protect Long Island's drinking water, the quality of which has long been called into question.

Experts say a growing number of Long Island's underground aquifers are becoming polluted by fertilizers, household chemicals and cesspools.

Some officials who testified today say building more municipal sewers and allowing development in areas that wouldn't hurt water aquifers could both improve the quality of water and bring needed jobs to the Island.

Environmentalists, however, say limiting new construction, preserving more open space and managing stormwater runoff are cheaper and more effective options.

"We cannot focus exclusively on sewers because the studies say they don't work very well," says Richard Amper, of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

Suffolk officials say it will likely take them a year to determine the costs of increasing municipal sewer systems in the county.