The Oyster Bay Sewer District celebrated its 75th anniversary on August 17th at an Open House ceremony held on its grounds located at 15 Bay Avenue, Oyster Bay. The importance of this District is undeniable, as demonstrated by the "profound impact on health and environment," believes former Commissioner David Layton.

The District encompasses 975 acres of Oyster Bay and is headed by Thomas Galasso, the Chairman of the Commissioners along with James Murphy, Treasurer and Joseph Pecora, P.E., Secretary. These men all have direct ties to the Oyster Bay Community. Commissioner Galasso was "born and bred" in Oyster Bay and believes "it's a unique thing; having a sewer system intact for so long."

By 1929, construction of the treatment plant was completed based on the existing technology. However, throughout the decades, upgrades to the plant were made. In 1965 and 1992, additional improvements were made to the District because "the technology had improved and it warranted investment," explains Layton. He added, "This is a top notch facility, ahead of the curve in treatment plants."

In 1998, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation commended the District with an "Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award" for the low amounts of waste the plant emits into Oyster Bay Harbor.

Engineer Gary Loesch describes the treatment plant as "the guardian of Oyster Bay harbor since 1926." He continued, "The plant has different strengths and skills [which create a] synergistic effect."

The anniversary celebration included comments from Commissioner Galasso, Oyster Bay Town Councilman Angelo Delligatti and Loesch. A tour of the facility conducted by Loesch followed their brief comments.

Overall the anniversary of the plant is significant to the community of Oyster Bay. Layton believes there is a "lack of awareness" in the community, however, he stated, "This plant is not something we can do without."

By Skye L. Suttie
Copyright © 2001, Oyster Bay Guardian