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About  I/A Systems

Long Island is in the midst of a water quality crisis caused by excess nitrogen from outdated cesspools and septic systems. Nitrogen discharge from these systems has been an acknowledged public health concern for more than 50 years, and has manifested in the form of toxic algae blooms, fish kills, and beach closures at our local bays, lakes and ponds. As a sole source aquifer, Long Island is also vulnerable to nitrogen contamination in our only source of drinking water, and water quality data shows a steady increase in the amount of nitrates in groundwater over the past few decades. In Suffolk County alone there are approximately 380,000 properties developed with on-site cesspools or septic systems, making up nearly three quarters of the residential, multifamily and commercial properties in the County.  


It is widely recognized that for a region that relies on its water resources to support a multi-billion dollar tourism economy, restoring water quality is necessary to ensure Long Island’s economic future. While there are certain areas throughout the Island where sewer systems can be incorporated to replace on-site wastewater disposal systems, installing sewer systems is not a practical or cost-effective option for much of the region. As a result, the lynchpin for upgrading most of the existing cesspools and septic tanks on Long Island is the implementation of Innovative/Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (“I/A OWTS”), which use bacterial processes to treat and drastically reduce nitrogen in wastewater. Millions of these innovative systems have been installed worldwide and are a proven method for onsite wastewater treatment.


Starting in 2016, Suffolk County implemented regulations approving the use of, and subsequently requiring the installation of, I/A OWTS in place of septic tanks and cesspools. As part of Suffolk County’s program, I/A OWTS systems undergo rigorous sampling requirements to ensure that they treat wastewater down to the required metric of 19 mg/l of total nitrogen, amounting to an approximately 80 percent reduction in total nitrogen as compared to conventional septic systems or cesspools.

LIASA Mission

LIASA was formed to provide a resource for all facets of the Innovative/Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (I/A OWTS) industry and to facilitate the effort to reclaim Long Island’s water quality. LIASA’s goal is to serve as a centralized hub for all pertinent information, education, and training associated with I/A OWTS design, installation and maintenance. By bringing together all stakeholders in the I/A OWTS industry – including the distributors for all approved I/A OWTS technologies, the architects & engineers that design these systems, the installers that put them in the ground, and the service providers that ensure their continued efficacy. LIASA is also intended to serve as a point of contact for local and regional governments, environmental organizations, and the public at large to interface with the I/A OWTS industry.

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