What is the Hither Woods Sewage Treatment Plant?

The East Hampton Town Board proposes to create a sewer district to serve Downtown Montauk, an 80-acre overdeveloped commercial area with many old motels. The Town eventually wants to extend sewer  mains up Edgemere Street and Flamingo Avenue to the area near the Montauk Firehouse and railroad station, and then to the dock area and Star Island. 

Finally, the Town is considering sewering the Ditch Plains residential area as well. These latter areas are miles from one another, and from Downtown Montauk, but would all have to be connected. The cost just to sewer Downtown Montauk, and to build the sewer plant to partial capacity, is estimated by the Town’s consultant, H2M Engineers, at $75 million, the biggest public works project in East Hampton’s history. Extending the sewers to the Docks area and Ditch Plains, and further upgrading the Sewage Treatment Plant, will cost unknown tens of millions of dollars more. Phase I of this project (Downtown Montauk and the initial treatment plant) would likely not enter service until at least 2030.

What is the position of The Coalition for Hither Woods?

The Coalition for Hither Woods is NOT against wastewater treatment in Montauk. We recognize that certain areas of Montauk have wastewater treatment issues which result in the injection of nitrogen into our wetlands and ponds – Ditch Plains and the Fort Pond area in particular. We advocate for remedial mitigation of wastewater issues through localized and less costly IA solutions as opposed to large-scale urbanized solutions. For solutions we advocate, see the Solutions section.

The Coalition for Hither Woods is firmly against destroying parkland to construct a large Sewage Treatment Plant and at the same time jeopardize the quality of our drinking water and lead to more growth. This is a non-starter for us and should be for all Montauk residents.  

We advocate for an open and transparent dialog to address the Montauk wastewater issues with the town and all residents of Montauk instead of the “closed door” hidden agenda meetings, which the town and other local Montauk organizations have been engaged since April of 2021.

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