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Jun 24, 2019 4:07 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Awards Nearly $400,000 In CPF Money For Water Quality Projects

Jun 26, 2019 10:42 AM

The Southampton Town Board awarded $391,780 of Community Preservation Fund money on Tuesday, aimed at improving water quality on the East End.

The money is slated to go toward two projects: one that targets Mill Pond in Water Mill, and another that targets Lake Agawam in Southampton Village.

The Town Trustees were awarded $120,540 to remove carp from Mill Pond and to install floating constructed wetlands. They also requested an additional $59,640 for 2020, which also was awarded.

Each year, Mill Pond suffers from blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. The blooms are triggered when the water in the pond, loaded with nitrogen from storm runoff, warms up.

Dr. Stephen Souza, a scientist from Princeton Hydro who has studied the pond, said carp at the bottom of the pond also play a role in triggering the algae blooms, when they kick up phosphorous.

His plan is to remove as many carp as possible using large box traps, which are between 10 and 15 feet by 30 feet. The traps are baited for carp, and after seven to 10 days the fish are removed from the traps and then sold to commercial fishermen, who use them for bait.

In addition to removing carp, Dr. Souza said he plans to increase vegetation in the pond by installing floating wetland islands. The man-made islands have the ability to remove phosphorous from the water and will provide a habitat for wildlife around the pond.

Town Board members also approved the awarding of $211,600 to Southampton Village to continue its efforts to install drainage basins to catch road runoff.

Like Mill Pond, Lake Agawam is plagued by blue-green algae blooms every year. Studies conducted by local scientists like Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University, suggest rain runoff accounts for a small percentage of pollution into Lake Agawam.

In 2018, Southampton Village was awarded $292,040 to replace dated catch basins near Oak Street, along with installing new curb inlets.

This time, the village is looking to add additional drains near the Southampton Village train station.

While Railroad Plaza is about a mile away from Lake Agawam, the village is looking to capture and treat the “first flush” of rain runoff to reduce the number of contaminants entering the lake.

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