These days, it is important to properly maintain our cesspools to ensure healthy drinking water and ecosystems. Tens of thousands of homes and small businesses in Nassau County alone are currently served by cesspools and septic systems. The improper maintenance of these systems and the use of old outdated systems are both major threats to our drinking water and coastal ecosystems. Here at A&L Cesspool, we can help you maintain your cesspool system to protect the health of your family, property, and community.


Threat of Groundwater Contamination

An improperly maintained cesspool is a threat to human health. Septic and cesspool systems can only operate correctly if they are given periodic maintenance. An improperly maintained system can discharge dangerous pathogens and chemicals into groundwater. Wastewater can contain pathogens that cause typhoid fever, hepatitis, and even dysentery and these are only removed in a properly functioning septic system. Chemical contaminants including heavy metals and toxic household products can also leach into groundwater if systems are not properly maintained. Long Island relies on groundwater for drinking and household uses so threats to the cleanliness and safety of this supply should be taken seriously.


Signs Of Cesspool Failure 

In order to protect our drinking water we need home and business owners to know when to call A&L Cesspool.ere are the warning signs of cesspool and septic system failure. 

  • Unpleasant fecal odors around your home.
  • Slow drainage or sewage backup in your toilets and drains.
  • Excessive lush grass growth in the area even during dry weather.
  • Excessive growth of aquatic weeds or algae in lakes or ponds near your home or business. 

If you notice these signs it is time to call A&L Cesspool for emergency maintenance of your system. 


Nitrogen Pollution

Unfortunately many older cesspools contribute to nitrogen pollution even when they are  well maintained and functioning perfectly. Conventional Long Island cesspools and septic systems were simply not designed to trap nitrogen so instead they allow it to reach aquifers, the Long Island Sound, the Great South Bay, and other aquatic ecosystems. Nitrogen pollution from septic systems and cesspools has been identified as the most significant cause of degraded water quality around Long Island. Aquatic ecosystems are so vulnerable to nitrogen pollution because this substance is a nutrient that fuels explosive growth of algae that choke out all other life like a metastasizing cancer. In Long Island Sound algal blooms use up all of the oxygen in the water when they die and decompose, killing aquatic animals and leaving behind dead zones. Nitrogen pollution contributes to restrictions on shell fishing, toxic algae blooms, the deterioration of storm-resilient marshlands, massive fish kills, and even beach closures. 


Upgrading Your Cesspool or Septic System 

Thankfully there are measures that home and business owners can take to make their cesspools more environmentally friendly. Grant programs have been set up by New York State, Nassau County and Suffolk County to help property owners replace their old cesspools and septic tanks with new versions designed to deal with nitrogen pollution. For instance, Nassau County’s Septic Environmental Program to Improve Cleanliness (S.E.P.T.I.C.), offers grants up to $20,000 for homeowners, small businesses, and not-for-profits to install state-of-the-art nitrogen pollution reducing septic systems. Suffolk County’s Reclaim Our Water Initiative allows eligible to apply for up to $30,000 in combined state and county grants to upgrade their septic systems. $2.25 million in federal infrastructure funds was also recently announced to continue funding these helpful programs. 


Other Ways to Help

Cesspool owners can also help protect our water quality without replacing existing systems. Conserving water by installing low flow fixtures and appliances can reign in the strain on septic systems and Long Island’s water supply. Proper routine maintenance of existing cesspool systems is also key for preventing pathogens and chemicals from leaching into our water supply. For all of your cesspool maintenance needs please reach out to A&L Cesspool.