How The Hills will Improve Area Water Quality

The Hills seasonal resort team has worked with local scientists to address a big problem in our area – excessive Nitrogen loading in ground and surface waters.

The Hills team has come up with a plan that will remove thousands of pounds of Nitrogen from local ground and surface waters, year in and year out.  No other project can provide this level of water quality improvement in the area.

Scientists working on The Hills project have developed an innovative water recycling program to remove Nitrogen from area ground water. The Hills resort will build an irrigation well to the Southern end of the farms on Lewis Road in East Quogue.  The water from this well has excessive amounts of Nitrogen in it.  The water will be used to irrigate and fertilize The Hills’ golf course and grounds.  The golf course and other vegetation will take up the excess Nitrogen thereby removing it from ground water, which would otherwise flow to Weesuck Creek and Shinnecock Bay.   As a result of this effort, The Hills golf course and grounds will remove thousands of pounds of Nitrogen every  year.

Area Bays are currently inhospitable to aquatic life due to excess nutrient loading primarily coming from outdated septic systems.  The Hills resort has also committed to nearly $2 million in local investments in advanced waste water system funds, shellfish restoration, research and education to help restore the health of area bays.

The first way that The Hills project will improve area water quality is through a special irrigation well.  This well will take ground water, that is high in Nitrogen because of area agricultural activities, and use it to water the golf course and other vegetation on the seasonal resort property.  The grass, plants and trees will take up the Nitrogen into their root systems for their own healthy growth.  The water that then returns into the ground will have been filtered and purified and will be far better in quality than it is currently.  This recycled and filtered water is then safe to return to the ground water supply or travel, over time, into the surface waters.

The result is improved ground water and surface water quality.

Local scientists agree that the excess in Nitrogen in our bays is largely (70%) due to human waste coming from outdated septic systems that do not remove much Nitrogen.  The Suffolk County Water authority has targeted thousands of homes and businesses in Suffolk County for remediation because of their significant Nitrogen contribution to the bays.

The Hills project will invest $1,000,000 in subsidies for septic system upgrades for priority Nitrogen-contributing systems in East Quogue.  This will result in far less Nitrogen being contributed into area waters on a daily basis.

The Hills project will also invest over $450,000 in bay restoration efforts to restore shellfish, eel grass and other natural water-filtration and water-quality supporting organisms.  This effort will result in the removal of Nitrogen contributing elements in the bays.