Skip to main content

Help Navigating Septic Grants

Tue, 03/07/2023 - 10:30
Tom Varley is the new watershed manager serving homeowners in the Georgica Pond and Sagg Pond watersheds.
Courtesy Tom Varley

In a move expected to accelerate the installation of innovative/alternative septic systems in critical South Fork areas, the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University and the Peconic Land Trust have partnered to bring in a new watershed manager focusing on the areas surrounding Georgica Pond and Sagg Pond in Sagaponack.

Tom Varley has spent the last 40 years overseeing and maintaining wastewater treatment plants — including some that process as much as 30 million gallons each day — throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, according to an announcement from the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation.

A lifelong Long Islander, Mr. Varley has seen the effects of hypoxia — a condition in which oxygen levels in water bodies are too low to sustain their ecosystems — in places like Hempstead Harbor.

"I can help people understand the types of systems that are out there and how they work," he said this week. "I can also walk them through the whole application process with the county, and town grants in East Hampton and Southampton that are separate from the county. Some people just want some information and can move forward on their own; others would like a little more guidance each step of the way."

Between town, county, and state grants, Mr. Varley explained, eligible homeowners can receive as much as $40,000 toward the cost of their innovative/alternative septic system installations. The county pays contractors directly, while other grant sources come in the form of reimbursements. The Internal Revenue Service recently declassified these grants as taxable income.

Mr. Varley is available as a resource free of charge to homeowners in the Georgica Pond and Sagg Pond watersheds. He can be reached by email at [email protected].


Breaking Fast, Looking for Peace

Dozens of Muslim men, women, and children gathered on April 10 at Agawam Park in Southampton Village to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr and break their Ramadan fast together with a multicultural potluck-style celebration. The observance of this Muslim holiday wasn't the only topic on their minds.

Apr 18, 2024

Item of the Week: Anastasie Parsons Mulford and Her Daughter

This photo from the Amagansett Historical Association shows Anastasie Parsons Mulford (1869-1963) with her arm around her daughter, Louise Parsons Mulford (1899-1963). They ran the Windmill Cottage boarding house for many years.

Apr 18, 2024

Green Giants: Here to Stay?

Long Island’s South Fork, known for beaches, maritime history, and fancy people, is also known for its hedges. Hedge installation and maintenance are big business, and there could be a whole book about hedges, with different varieties popular during different eras. In the last decade, for example, the “green giant,” a now ubiquitous tree, has been placed along property lines throughout the Hamptons. It’s here to stay, and grow, and grow.

Apr 18, 2024

Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.