The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 26, 1999


BOH reacts to shared septics and wells

Planning board members Dan Holzman and Tara Hengeveld visited the board of health at their February 16 meeting to discuss some bylaw changes that their board is preparing for Town Meeting.

Hengeveld explained that the planning board had made some changes to the open space bylaw, which was defeated at Town Meeting two years ago. The subdivisions would remain density-neutral, in that the total acreage would include no more houses than if the development were subjected to conventional zoning restrictions. (See article on page 1)

The new bylaw would allow shared septic systems which could be located in an open space area, if board of health regulations are met. Each house could have its own septic system but existing town rules would allow the use of shared systems, as board of health member Dan Holzman pointed out.

Board of health member Skip Saunders asked about the incentive behind the new bylaw. The response was that the builder could save some costs in the common infrastructure by using shorter road lengths and making utilities a shorter distance from houses with less frontage.

One question, however, pertains to the use of shared wells. Saunders pointed out that the board of health has some recent experience with a shared well system at the senior residential open space cluster, Malcolm Meadows. There was a slip through the regulations crack there which allowed a low flow rate of the water system. The regulations call for a public water supply when the population exceeds 25 people, but the Stearns Street project serves fewer than that and there were no required flow rates for the deep wells on that property. Saunders stated that the board of health is currently revising its well regulations so that flow rates in shared wells are adequate to meet the demands.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito