Private campgrounds aren’t the only ones dealing with wastewater issues, with five state parks on New York’s Long Island agreeing with state regulators to fix their septic systems.

New York State Parks announced the agency entered into a consent order with the State Department of Environmental Conservation to address septic systems at five Long Island state parks that are not in compliance with water pollution control permits, the Long Island Exchange reported Oct. 21.

“State Parks takes its stewardship of parks and their environment seriously and handles all non-compliance with top priority,” Commissioner Rose Harvey said.  “Upon discovering a potential issue with the septic systems at our parks, we took aggressive steps to investigate and are developing solutions that will comply with environmental standards while maintaining crucial services for millions of visitors to these parks.”

State Parks’ ongoing engineering review has preliminarily concluded that 30 septic systems at Belmont Lake, Heckscher, Robert Moses, Sunken Meadow, and Wildwood State Parks that were installed many decades ago are not in compliance with current septic treatment standards. In total, the five parks contain about 100 septic systems. The remaining 70 are in compliance with applicable standards.

The consent order calls on State Parks to immediately initiate the design and installation of replacement systems, to assure all septic systems comply with current standards within three years. The cost of installing replacement systems is not yet known, but is expected to be in excess of $5 million. The agency will pay $25,000 in fines, a $250,000 environmental project and could face another $25,000 in fines if the work isn’t done within three years.

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