Legislative News: Suffolk Septic System Update

Mark Kriss, Esq, NYSSPE’s Legislative Counsel updated NYSSPE members at the Annual Conference meeting this past weekend on the Suffolk Septic System Plan.  He reported that currently we are hopeful that the bill will not be passed in the Assembly, which along with the Senate is expected to recess this week and not return until after the November 2018 elections.  All 213 state senators and members of the assembly, along with the Governor, are up for election and are focused on campaigning.

Currently the Suffolk County Division of Health Services (SCDHS) requires that a septic system for single family homes be designed by a design professional.  According to SCDHS protocols both a standard septic system and an Innovative/Alternative (IA) system, referred to as “nitrogen-reducing sewage disposal system” in the legislation must be designed by a “design professional”.

For standard septic systems, the SCDHS presently accepts plans prepared by a professional engineer or a land surveyor.  It is asserted by SCDHS that the county accepts plans from a land surveyor because in the County’s view the design of these systems is prescriptive based on their standards and requires little or no engineering.  In contrast, for an I/A system, the SCDHS requires plans to be prepared by a design professional (PE or RA).  The agency also require that the engineers be certified by the manufacturers of the system they are specifying so they understand the process design and installation requirements of the systems.   The I/A systems require engineering knowledge and expertise to select the system for the particular application (there are currently 4 systems approved by the County), select and design the effluent field, ensure the electrical system is adequate for addition of the system (pumps and/or aerators used in these systems), and configure the system based on any site restrictions or high groundwater (many of these systems are installed in areas with high groundwater).  This bill will permit land surveyors, and other third parties not licensed as a professional engineer, to design I/A systems in addition to standard systems.

To read NYSSPE’s entire memorandum in opposition CLICK HERE 

Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.


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