Helping Homeowners Surrounding Sagaponack Pond and Georgica Pond

March 28, 2023
Conservation News
Water Quality

The Peconic Land Trust is working with the Sagaponack Pond and Georgica Pond communities, municipalities, and partner organizations to improve the health of these ponds. One of the top priorities is reducing nitrogen levels from septic systems in the areas surrounding the ponds.

There is significant public funding available, in the form of rebates from the Town, County and State, to assist homeowners to replace their traditional septic systems with Innovative/Alternative Systems (I/A systems). However, few homeowners have made the switch so far. The major obstacle is that the criteria for selecting among the available I/A systems is complex. Also, the regulatory process of getting one installed is complicated.

To accelerate the upgrading of septic systems within these communities, the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University (CCWT) has hired a manager to help. Tom Varley, the new hire, will help homeowners navigate the unwieldy process of upgrading their systems. The Trust is funding the position for CCWT using funds raised from the community.

Tom has decades of experience in wastewater on Long Island and will provide support to homeowners as needed. He is eager to begin working within the Georgica Pond and Sagg Pond watersheds. Tom said, “For Long Island to remain the beautiful place we live it will require our collective effort to protect and improve our water. Concentrating our initial efforts around these watersheds, will allow us to document nitrogen reductions and water quality improvements. Our hope is that more homeowners will utilize this free service and take the first step by contacting me, I’m here to help.”

Want to learn more? Reach out to Tom Varley at

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