The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 30, 1999


Congregational Church receives nod from BOH, but not Saint Irene rectory

Engineer Joe March of Stamski and McNary discussed the Congregational Church's proposed addition at the April 20 board of health meeting. The church wants to add a 300-seat sanctuary to the existing church on School Street. When the church was built in 1969, the design included a 400-seat sanctuary which was never built, but the septic system was built to accommodate it. Currently, the church is using a 50-seat fellowship room and plans to move the seats from that room to the new sanctuary.

March explained that a flow rate calculation of 3 gallons per seat per day was used to design the original septic system. March pointed out that the regulation which requires the 3-gallon minimum has not changed since 1969. The church system was designed for 400 seats and is 30 percent larger than that needed for the proposed 300-seat addition. The system is designed to handle 1,200 gallons per day flow rate.

The board then discussed the new Saint Irene Church which had undergone similar calculations and had, in fact, had its permit revoked when it was discovered that other uses for day care and 11 classrooms were not accounted for in the flow rate estimates. The board had subsequently approved the Saint Irene design when the engineering firm (also Stamski and McNary) showed that actual measured flow rates of a comparable church in Acton were less than the 3 gallons per day after multiplying the measured rates by 200 percent, as required.

Town consulting engineer Rob Frado said that he was happy with the estimates and results for the Saint Irene Church and could see no problem approving the Congregational Church's request. The board suggested that the system be pumped and the report reviewed,. Then the board will send a letter to the building inspector saying that the existing system is acceptable.

Saint Irene rectory not approved

Ed Sonn representing Saint Irene Church explained while doing some landscaping at the rectory, workers had uncovered the rectory septic system and sess pool. Since the system was in a different location from that shown on the 1959 plan, it was obvious that the system had never been pumped, although there were no indications of system failure.

Sonn proposed to connect the rectory system to the new church system. He said that the church has been monitoring water use on a monthly basis, and with the exception of lawn irrigation, the measurements come to 120 gallons per day. Since the system was designed for 1,980 gallons per day, Sonn reasoned it could accommodate the additional flow from the rectory. The rectory which has 11 rooms and houses only two people.

Board member Skip Saunders did not see a tie-in to the church system as a legitimate option. Frado said, "I don't know any other way to say 'follow the rules.' If the state doesn't have any rules, then the rule is to use a metered system and double it. If the rules aren't followed, there is no reason someone couldn't meter his house and request a smaller septic system."

Saunders pointed out that current use is no indication of possible future use and that both the rectory and the church water use could increase in the future for various reasons.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito