The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 14, 2000


Board of health makes resolutions for the new year

The Carlisle Board of Health wants to start the new year with some resolutions. Chair Steve Opolski asked members Laura Semrad and Lisa Davis Lewis to pick a pet project for the year 2000 and run with it. Some suggestions at the January 4 meeting were to revise the water regulations, create a web page for the BOH, and promote more recycling at the transfer station. Semrad even toyed with the idea of a weekly health column in the Mosquito called "Laura's Corner."

The board briefly discussed the latest proposal by the town of Chelmsford to locate six wells with a total daily pumping capacity of 360,000 gallons along the northern boundary of the Cranberry Bog. "I never heard about it until it was in the Mosquito," said Opolski, obviously upset that the board had not been informed by Chelmsford. Farmer Mark Duffy depends on the Heart Pond in Chelmsford and the bordering wetlands for irrigation and is allowed to withdraw 350,000 gallons per day for his cranberry operations. Members plan to follow the situation as it unfolds.

Berry Corner Lane

On another topic, the board of health would rather not get dragged into the seemingly endless Valchuis versus Berry Corner Lane residents dispute. However, a letter dated December 27 from resident Keith Therrien to the board complains that someone dug a test pit on his property and damaged surrounding wetlands in the process. Agent Linda Fantasia checked back through her records and found no evidence of soil checking since 1993, at which time a test pit was dug but no location given. The board will inform Therrien that they did not initiate any soil testing and don't know who did.

Extended Day Program

The Carlisle Extended Day Program has purchased the home and office of pediatrician Dr. Ron Schneebaum at 142 East Street. The non-profit group plans to extensively remodel the interior to accommodate the children in their K-6 program. Ellen Saslaw of Saslaw Associates met with the board of health to affirm that the facility is up to code for its intended use. She explained that they plan to take out the partitions and will only use the kitchen for snacks. On rare occasions, the kids might bake some cookies.

Saslaw referred to calculations from Jeffrey Hannaford of Norse Environmental Services in Tyngsboro. Hannaford estimates a daily sewage flow of five gallons per day per person, obtained from Title 5 requirements for elementary schools without cafeteria, gymnasium or showers. The existing septic tank is 1,500 gallons, which is adequate for 150 people at five gallons per person per day. This is computed as follows: 5 gal/day x 150 people/day = 750 gallons/day x 200 percent = 1,500 gallons minimum required. Should the center decide to provide meal service, the flow rate would increase to 8 gallons per person per day.

The leach trenches are capable of supporting 142 people based on an existing 960 square feet of leaching area, according the current Title 5 requirement of 0.74 gallons per square foot. Thus, the weak link at this site is the leaching area, but 142 people far exceed any plans of the Extended Day facility. Board members saw no impact on water quality and decided against requiring the facility to install a water meter. They determined that the facility was indeed "up to code" and agreed to send a report of their findings to building inspector Bob Koning.

Underground oil tanks

Almost all underground oil tanks in Carlisle have been removed as required by law. The deadline was December 31, 1998over one year ago. One of the last buried oil tanks in town belongs to Annie Macy on Old East Street. The tank remains buried despite all attempts by the BOH and building inspector. Macy claims she cannot afford an underground double-walled tank replacement and there isn't enough room for an above-ground tank. Letters and visits from both the building inspector and BOH have produced no results. Now the board, with great reluctance, is turning the case over to town counsel.

The remaining winter meetings for the board of health are on January 25, February 8 and 22, and March 7 and 21.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito