Friday, February 18, 2000
Two septic system repairs require multiple waivers
"We're putting this (repair) in with a shoe horn," explained engineer Bert Hamill in the February 8 public hearing on a septic system repair at 43 Partridge Lane. Hamill requested six waivers for the septic design because of the tight space. When asked by board of health chair Steve Opolski if he was sure of the property boundaries, Hamill replied affirmatively. Hamill said that he was a licensed surveyor as well as engineer, and had personally surveyed the land.
The engineer requested waivers for the garbage grinder requirement, four feet of separation from the water table instead of the required five feet (depending on the percolation rate), six inches of stone beneath the leaching system instead of the required 12 inches, 40 feet from the border of vegetated wetlands (BVW) for the septic tank instead of 100 feet, and 80 feet from BVW for the leaching field instead of 100 feet. The engineer requested that only four feet from the water table be required because of the steep grade to the wetlands and he believed that increasing the fill to five feet would have a greater impact on the wetlands. All of the requests were deemed reasonable by the town consulting engineer, Rob Frado.
Abutter Ernie Huber stated that he was worried about a lot line because the marker stone was missing. Hamill explained that he had found the missing stone but it was incorrect by several feet. "We go out after approval and physically stake [the property bounds]," explained Hamill. With Huber satisfied, the board approved the waivers and the design.
Repair 106 Concord Street
Because Opolski is considered an abutter to 106 Concord Street, town counsel had recommended that he not only refrain from participating in the public hearing, but also leave the room. Opolski protested, saying that his wife is the executor of an unsettled estate which owns some property behind 106 Concord Street but that he has no financial interest or control of this property. Nevertheless, he left the room. The public hearing was conducted by Laura Semrad, as alternate chair.
Hamill, of H-Star Engineering, presented the design to the remaining board members. The design required several waivers: the system was not designed for a garbage grinder; the leaching system would be three feet above the water table rather than the required four feet (depending on the percolation rate); the system was 80 feet from the border of vegetated wetlands instead of the required 100 feet.
The wavier for the distance from the water table was required because the necessary fill to meet regulations would place the fill over the shingles of the house.
The board then got into a lengthy discussion with Hamill about the proposed septic tank. Hamill had specified a tank smaller than required for a garbage grinder because he reasoned that a garbage grinder could not be used anyway due to the limitation of the leaching field size. Hamill's intent was to save the homeowner $1,000 by not using a larger tank even if it would fit on the property. He argued that there was no specific regulation which mandated a bigger tank, only the one which states that the system should be designed for a garbage grinder if possible. Since he was requesting a garbage grinder waiver, he did not see the need for the bigger tank.
The board members, led by Semrad, explained that in the past they had required the larger tanks even if the system would not use a garbage grinder. Hamill then relented and brought forth a second plan with a bigger tank. The board granted the waivers on the second design and that plan was approved.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito