BOH approves new sewage disposal regulations

by Karina Coombs

Concluding a public hearing that began on March 19, the Board of Health (BOH) voted unanimously to approve a final draft of the Carlisle Supplementary Regulations for Sewage Disposal Systems at its May 28 meeting, reflecting changes made to inspections, associated fees and other items.

The revisions to the document began in early March as the board was looking to align their costs for the time of engineering consultant Rob Frado with the amount they charged for each permit. A low balance in the board’s 53E-revolving account at the end of FY12 left the group scrambling to get a handle on consulting fees for both engineering and administrative work (see “Board of Health weighs fee hike,” February 6).

After a number of public hearings and lengthy discussions, the board agreed to charge $200 for revised sewage disposal plans that require an engineering review, decrease the number of inspections to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from four to at least two, include the use of soil morphology testing for groundwater rather than seasonal testing and charge $300 for each violation of the regulations.

A number of other changes were also made to the local regulations and may be viewed on the Board of Health website:, filed under Permit Applications & Information. The new regulations went into effect on June 1.

A current fee schedule that contains all recently updated fees is also available at the Board of Health site.

Great Brook Farm State Park Emergency Permit

In other business, board member Cathy Galligan explained that during Health Agent Linda Fantasia’s recent absence there was an incident at Great Brook Farm State Park involving a beaver dam that required an emergency permit from the BOH.

While there are a number of beaver dams throughout the property, Galligan explained that two of them are considered problematic for public health and functionality and are located in an area with a high-pressure gas line (see also “State Park beaver dams dislodged, boardwalk destroyed,” May 17.)

Because a recent dam breach had flooded a neighboring property, the Conservation Commission proposed bringing in a local wildlife management company to address the issue while also being humane, given that female beavers may be still nursing their young.

Wildlife experts reported that one dam would have to be dismantled and the beavers moved, but a second dam had more favorable topography and could be drained. The company proposed putting in a special pipe that would allow the dam to drain slowly enough that the beavers would not notice and try to rebuild. Galligan was specifically concerned about the flooding of three nearby septic systems and hesitant to sign the permit, but was told the flow would be slow enough that it could be managed by culverts without harm to the neighboring properties.

Fantasia signed the permit on May 28 and work was slated to begin at the end of May or beginning of June.

Benfield Farms

Todd Brown of Lincoln Tree and Landscape made an unscheduled appearance before the board to inquire about getting a permit to begin construction on the Benfield Farms septic system. The Benfield Farms development on South Street will contain 26 rental apartments for low- and moderate-income seniors.

Brown informed the board that he had recently bid for the septic system contract and had been selected to do the work. However, there had been a recent change in the plans and the BOH informed Brown that they were still waiting for final drawings reflecting a change in the type of tank used for the system.

BOH Chair Jeff Brem asked Fantasia to follow-up with the project’s engineer, Mark Beaudry of Meridian Associates, and “jumpstart this thing,” explaining that they needed a copy of the final plans so they could be stamped and the board could issue a permit. Fantasia also asked for a pre-construction meeting of all parties to coordinate inspections with Frado.

Board reorganization

The board voted to keep Brem as chair for another year, Bill Risso as vice chair and Galligan as treasurer. ∆