Proposed water recycling project will also save $350K and help preserve Nassau’s limited water resources
In a joint effort to protect Nassau County’s precious but limited water resources, SUEZ and Nassau County are proposing to construct the County’s first water recycling facility at the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh. Water recycling is reusing treated wastewater for beneficial purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing, and replenishing a ground water basin (referred to as ground water recharge).
SUEZ operates and manages Nassau County’s wastewater system, which is the largest public-private partnership for water and wastewater services in the United States. The project is expected to cost approximately $1.1 million and be completed by January 2019. The cost, to be paid entirely by SUEZ, is expected to result in a net reduction of the plant’s operating expenses by more than $350,000 per year.
“We are excited at the prospect of bringing a sustainable solution that will bring tremendous environmental benefits to the Nassau County community,” said Eric Gernath, CEO of SUEZ North America. “Most people think of water recycling as a west coast issue because of water scarcity issues, but we believe that by decreasing wastewater discharges we also reduce and prevent pollutants from reaching our waterways.”
By reusing treated plant effluent, the Cedar Creek plant will preserve up to 300 million gallons of groundwater each year. The plant currently uses about 600 gallons of groundwater per minute for non-potable uses, such as process cooling water and washing down equipment and tanks. The proposed plant instead will take water from the screened plant effluent system and treat it for solids removal and for high-level, multiple-barrier disinfection using chlorination and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection.
“In Nassau County we are fully aware of the dangers when pollutants are discharged to our bay and other water bodies,” said Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive. “This new water recycling plant is a great start to reduce treated wastewater entering our waterways and also to help protect our drinking water supplies. We applaud the efforts of SUEZ and look forward to the day this plant is ready for action.”
SUEZ began operating and maintaining the Nassau County Sewer System under a public-private partnership in January 2015. Since then, SUEZ has received high marks from environmental groups and non-governmental organizations, including the Western Bays Coalition of environmental groups, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, and the New York League of Conservation Voters.
“We applaud the efforts by SUEZ to protect Long Island’s vulnerable aquifer system,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “All of Long Island's drinking water comes from underground. Unfortunately, saltwater intrusion into our south shore groundwater is a growing threat and conserving water is a critical component to combat this threat. SUEZ has done a commendable job in reducing nitrogen pollution from sewage and in protecting existing groundwater.” The Citizens Campaign for the Environment and its 80,000 members in New York and Connecticut advocate solutions for the environment and public health.
SUEZ is one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in New York State with operations in Mohawk Valley, Mount Kisco, Owego, New Castle, Nichols, Poughkeepsie, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties.
About SUEZ North America
SUEZ in North America operates across all 50 states and Canada with 3,350 employees dedicated to environmental sustainability and leading the resource revolution. The company provides drinking water, wastewater and waste collection service to 7.3 million people on a daily basis; treats 577 million gallons of water and 997 million gallons of wastewater each day; delivers water treatment and advanced network solutions to 16,000 industrial and municipal sites; processes 55,000 tons of waste for recycling; rehabilitates and maintains water assets for more than 4,000 municipal and industrial customers; and manages $4.2 billion in total assets. The company posted revenues of $1.275 billion in 2016 and is a subsidiary of Paris-based SUEZ.
With 90,000 people on the five continents, SUEZ is a world leader in smart and sustainable resource management. We provide water and waste management solutions that enable cities and industries to optimize their resource management and strengthen their environmental and economic performances in line with regulatory standards. To meet increasing demands to overcome resource quality and scarcity challenges, SUEZ is fully engaged in the resource revolution. With the full potential of digital technologies and innovative solutions, the Group recovers 17 million tons of waste each year, produces 3.9 million tons of secondary raw materials and 7 TWh of local renewable energy. SUEZ also secures water resources, delivering wastewater treatment services to 58 million people and reusing 233 billion gallons of wastewater. SUEZ generated total revenues of $18 billion in 2016.