Latest Project News
On Thursday, Jan. 27, Suffolk County celebrated the groundbreaking of the Forge River Watershed Sewer project on Long Island, New York, marking the start of a $224 million initiative that will expand access to sewer systems in Suffolk County.
The new sewer district will include a wastewater treatment plant that will serve residents and businesses in nearby Mastic-Shirley. This project also includes individual sewer connections and a new conveyance system for approximately 1,900 parcels. This new infrastructure will replace existing septic systems that have been identified as the primary source of the nitrogen that is polluting the Forge River, marshlands, and the local bay.
“Superstorm Sandy exposed the need to further protect our coastline communities on Long Island from the impact of climate change,” Governor Hochul said. “Today’s groundbreaking marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to build resiliency.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said, "This is just the beginning. This infrastructure is necessary to protect our communities, expand the economy and protect water quality.”
The Forge River Watershed Sewer Districts’ boundaries extend from just west of the William Floyd Parkway, east to the Forge River, and just south of Sunrise Highway; on the north to Poospatuck Creek and to the south, not including the Poospatuck Indian Reservation. The project is expected to be completed in 2026.
Anticipated Project Construction Schedule
Anticipated start dates and duration of construction in a specific area are provided in the table. Also provided are the names of the Contractors who will be performing the work in each area.
The project will begin with the construction of the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility (AWTF) (Contract 1) and the installation of the low-pressure sewer (LPS) pipe in the roadways and the installation of a valve box within the road right-of-way at each individual property (Contracts 2-4). Residents should be aware that while there will be temporary disturbances associated with this work, restrictions have been placed on the contractor to minimize disruptions to the greatest extent possible.
Once the AWTF and LPS pipe construction are complete (Contracts 1-4), installation of the individual sewer connections to each private property will begin (Contracts 5-9). This work will include the installation of a grinder pump unit (GPU), a gravity sewer pipe connecting your house’s waste line to the GPU, and an electrical control panel exterior to your home. The GPU will be connected to the valve box, which was previously installed. To perform these installations, the contractor will need to access your property. The County will be sending a documentation packet for your review and signature prior to commencing construction on your property. Property owners who do not complete and return the requisite paperwork to the County will be responsible to connect their properties to the sewer system at their own cost.
Decades of nitrogen pollution from septic systems, cesspools, agricultural uses and runoff have degraded surface and ground waters.
Poor water quality hurts our coastal resiliency, environment, economy, land values, tourism industry and recreation.
Long Island’s tidal wetlands play a critical role in protecting against storm damage. Nitrogen pollution is the leading cause of wetland, sea grass and salt-marsh loss.
Most of the nitrogen pollution in the Great South Bay comes from unsewered homes of which Suffolk has 360,000, more than the entire state of New Jersey.
Constructing a sewer system in the Mastic-Shirley area is a major step toward cleaning up our rivers, bays and underground water.
The first two phases of the Forge River Watershed Sewer Project are expected to hook up many homes and businesses and safely treat millions of gallons of waste annually.
The project is expected to reduce nitrogen by 70% in the Forge River, the most severely polluted water way in Suffolk County.
Combined with sewer projects in three other priority areas, harmful nitrogen pollution in the Great South Bay is projected to be reduced by 25%.
Read Newsday's cover story about Suffolk County's effort to improve water quality, boost economic development and protect against storm surges by clicking the link below
Suffolk County has held community events to educate Mastic and Shirley area residents about the Forge River Watershed Sewer Project. Each event allowed residents to ask questions about the project and have an open dialect about their needs. To read more about each event, Click Here
Suffolk County, in cooperation with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and state Environmental Facilities Corporation, has begun its first major investment in advanced wastewater treatment in decades. The projects propose to extend sewers to communities along the Great South Bay that have substandard septic systems, dense populations, a short depth to groundwater, and short travel times for nitrogen-enriched groundwater to enter rivers and bays. Extending sewers is a crucial factor in helping these communities continue recovering from the devastating impacts of Superstorm Sandy.
Learn more about how the county and state are working together:
work on Forge River Watershed Project