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March 14, 1997

Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)

City Needs Volunteers For Watershed Septic Siting Study

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr. of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the Department's Septic Siting Study still needs several homeowners to volunteer as participants in the watersheds of the City's Catskill and Delaware System reservoirs. The program, which is required by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, is intended to provide scientific information on the ability of soils to act as natural filters for effluent from household septic systems.

Commissioner Miele said, "This study will provide valuable information for everyone interested in protecting water resources around the country, from public health officials to fishing enthusiasts, from environmental agencies to homeowners concerned about their well water."

Volunteer participants can expect that scientists conducting the study will take samples of groundwater at one point above the septic system's leaching field and at six locations below the field about twice a month for a period of two years. Additionally, more intensive sampling at the same sites will occur during one spring and one autumn. Septic systems approved for the study must serve strictly residential purposes for dwellings of six bedrooms or less. Any selected septic system that needs repairs will have them done free of charge by DEP, outside of any programs in the Watershed Agreement. Enough homeowners have signed up for the Croton System portion of the study, but additional volunteers are needed for the Catskill System (primarily in Ulster, Greene and Schoharie Counties) and the Delaware System (primarily in Delaware County, plus portions of Ulster and northern Sullivan Counties).

Homeowners interested in volunteering for the study may contact: Margaret Lloyd at 914/742-2033 or Debra Curry at 914/773-4431.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600