We Need to Save our Drinking Water



S. Trenn

Drinking water on Long Island could be in jeopardy if the powers that be don’t take action.

On Long Island, one of the unique advantages we have are the three aquifers that are below the surface of the island. It gives us easy access to clean water that needs little treatment to be drinkable due to the sand that’s within the ground. Sand acts as a natural filter, which helps us save money and spend less on treatment and delivery of drinkable water to the people. 

One of the biggest things affecting our water, and ruining it, is cesspools because our waste product leaks into the ground, inevitably going into our drinking water. In most areas, the first level of water is contaminated beyond a drinkable standard. 

According to The Nature Conservancy, “Even when working properly, traditional Long Island cesspools and septic systems are not designed to keep reactive nitrogen from entering groundwater aquifers.”  

But there’s a new system that cleans the waste product before sending it into the ground. Unfortunately, it’s expensive. So, one problem we face is the cost of changing from the old system to new; but in the end, it could save us money as a state. For example, say we pollute all three aquifers and can no longer use the groundwater, we would have to get it from somewhere else. This would cost us more money due to the building of new pipelines and the distance the water would have to travel to get to Long Island. This new system could be a preventative measure.

Some may ask, What if there are people who can’t afford these new cesspools? The change should be state-mandated and -funded because it’s important to all and it would cost more to switch to another supply of water. It should feel important to all of us who call Long Island home because it affects everyone who lives here. 

How could we get this state mandated? That’s a long process, and not an easy one, due to this being so important. With people standing up and speaking for the masses, we could get a message to the government and, with effort, we could convince them that this is important to us all. The fact that it could save the government money should surely intrigue them.

A change needs to be made or else we may lose the advantage of having easy to access drinking water.