PROVIDENCE – Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone has asked the the R.I. General Assembly to enact House Bill 6031 to reduce the number of cesspools in the state and to ensure cleaner, safer water, reduce beach and shellfishing closures, and better protect the public health.
“Cesspools have not met state standards for wastewater treatment for over 40 years,” said Stone. “How long will we tolerate the damage done to our groundwater and drinking water by these antiquated waste systems?”
The current cesspool phase-out law affects properties that are located within 200 feet of the coastline of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island’s south coast. The proposed bill will apply to all properties when sold or transferred. It is a simple, clear and long-overdue change that would clean up Rhode Island’s ground water, waterways and beaches, according to Stone.
“We hear about beach closures from the Department of Health every time it rains as stormwater enters the Bay,” said Tom Kutcher, Narragansett Baykeeper for Save The Bay. “Less visible, but equally harmful, is the leaking of waste from cesspools into the watershed. It all eventually makes its way into the Bay.”