Press Releases

Town of Southold Provides Innovative Maintenance to WATERWASH Mattituck Project

Monday July 7, 2014 (Southold, NY) Five years after its installation, WATERWASH Mattituck received its first thorough cleaning this week. Located just north of Sound Ave (Route 48) and Love Lane, this innovative stormwater remediation project was greeted Tuesday morning by three members of the highway crew and a retrofitted lawnmower with a hose attached to one of the Town’s high-powered storm-drain vacuum trucks. The result after nearly an hour of “vacuuming” and another 20 minutes of an intense power wash was an improved permeability at the site that will filter out pollutant particles before entering Mattituck Creek.


“Glad to help and glad my invention worked,” said Town Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando, who is already eager to get next year’s cleaning date on the books. The invention was a retrofitted lawnmower deck found on the side of the road and affixed to the truck’s vacuum hose. The result was a machine that could remove fine sands that accumulate in this recycled glass permeable pavement to allow stormwater to infiltrate. All varieties of pervious pavement require yearly maintenance.


“Now, with the Highway Department’s yearly help, we can ensure the parking area percolation remains effective,” stated Lillian Ball, ecological artist and conservationist, who conceived this first project of the WATERWASH series.


But what is WATERWASH? Located at the head of Mattituck Creek, the WATERWASH Project is an educational model for non-point source storm-water that was created to improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat. A bio-swale of native plants is a second defense beyond the permeable pavement. The project further meets Southold Town’s Federally mandated stormwater mitigation obligations. Uncontrolled rainfall or stormwater can be detrimental to water quality and shellfish species due to high amounts of fecal coliform bacteria (e.g. pet waste) excessive amounts of nitrates (e.g. fertilizer) and other pollutants.


Group for the East End supported the WATERWASH Mattituck project from the beginning and continues to help with maintenance of this important project. “The WATERWASH Project is a leading example of how communities can mitigate stormwater flowing directly into our creeks and bays, “added Aaron Virgin, Vice President of Group for the East End. In East Marion, the Group has been working with the Gardiner’s Bay Estates on a similar project that will be completed later this year, and Ms. Ball recently completed WATERWASH ABC along the Bronx River in NYC. Join us Thursday evening for a paddle through Mattituck Inlet. (


Contact: Jen Skilbred

631-899-3651 – Ÿ