VRP Archives re: Post College / LIU
Sewer Pipe Project – April 1990
At the hearing for the sewer pipe project, LIU’s representatives assured us that damaged foliage would be replaced, tree damage would be avoided, and detrimental externalities would simply not be produced. You can judge for yourself whether LIU kept its word simply by taking a walk along the route of the pipeline. Wear your hiking boots, though. Almost 5 years after the completion of the project, the terrain is still badly scarred and is not at all like the woods and trails around it. It looks like an unfinished construction project.
In years past, LIU would neaten up the loose ends from the previous project before seeking a permit for the next one. That formality would now seem to be a thing of the past. LIU’s current method is to deny that any problem exists and claim that no such promises were ever made and that no such assurances were ever given. Walk the pipeline and judge for yourself whether a problem exists. Read the transcript of the hearing that was held on April 21, 1990 (the Village of Brookville’s “Records Access Officer,” the Village Clerk can provide a copy) and judge for yourself whether any promises were made or assurances given.
Elias Pritchard of Dvirka and Bartilucci, LIU’s engineers: “The ground will be restored to what it is today” and “We call for seeding on the excavated area”
Louis Cotone, LIU Director of Facilities: “I would be very concerned about loss of foliage along any property line. I guess we can walk the site again and make sure there will be none.”
Of course, all of this does not address the question of why Post sought a sewer pipe installation in the first place. For many years, they used a sewage-treatment plant located on their campus. When the plant became outmoded, they were given three choices by their consulting engineers, Dvirka and Bartilucci, (a copy of their report was filed with the village clerk and is, therefore, in the public record):
- upgrade the existing sewage treatment plant with a fixed growth system – denitrification filter
- upgrade the existing sewage treatment plant via suspended growth denitrification – either with a tankage addition or by a modification to the existing tankage
- install a pipeline from LIU-Post to the Nassau County sewer system
The sewage treatment plant upgrade would have been preferable from an environmental point of view, as it addressed both the problems of ground water pollution and ground water depletion. Treated waste water is returned to the ground and, ultimately, to the water table. Sewered waste water is pumped into the sea and can never be reused as drinking water. It would also have avoided the excavation work that affected numerous residents along the pipe’s path and the construction damage that was never repaired. The only advantage of the pipe was that it was cheaper. The village government did not give much consideration to any of the residents’ complaints or concerns and rapidly approved (rubber-stamped) the pipeline.
Post likes to claim that it has no negative impact whatever on the surrounding community. While it is difficult to quantify and catalog all of the detrimental externalities that Post does produce, this engineering report provided documentation of one of the ways that Post has polluted the area’s groundwater with phenols (which they attribute to photographic darkrooms on campus).
The following are excerpts from the report:
C. W. Post College
Alternative Methods of Wastewater Treatment and Disposal
Dvirka and Bartilucci
Syosset, New York
Table 7 Chemical Constituents 11/14/73 Effluent* 1/13/74 Effluent* (mg/l) (mg/l) Phenol 0.006 * Data obtained from Nassau County Department of Health ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Table 8 Sampling Program Results Influent Effluent Influent Effluent Influent Effluent Composite Composite Composite Composite Composite Composite 2/9/82 2/9/82 2/10/82 2/10/82 2/11/82 2/11/82 Total Phenols: < 0.002 0.051 0.062 0.035 0.068 0.046