Summer months show ‘significant water quality impairments’

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PATCHOGUE -

Dr. Chris Gobler, who has spent years studying Long Island's water quality, says almost every single water body across Long Island had “significant water quality impairments” over the summer months.

Dr. Gobler, along with members of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership, unveiled the “Summer of 2018 Harmful Algae Bloom Map" during a news conference Tuesday. It outlined where the harmful tides are and how potent those tides have become.

He told News 12 that maps unveiled in the past have been similar to the summer 2018 map. However, the Great South Bay faced significant issues – experiencing a brown tide, seaweed bloom, rust tide and low oxygen within a two- to three-month period.

Suffolk County has 360,000 unsewered homes that line bays and estuaries, many of them leach nitrogen into the water. That excess of nitrogen causes the dangerous tides that killed shellfish and fin fish.

Scientists and environmentalists say replacing antiquated cesspools with new septic systems could reverse the current trend. Residents with an antiquated cesspool can apply for a grant for an upgraded cesspool.

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