The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 28, 2002


Board of health needs policy on alternative septic technologies

With six alternative technology septic systems in place in Carlisle, all working well for up to five years, the Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) now recognizes a need for a consistent policy on non-conventional systems.

Questions on the role of novel technologies include whether they should be approved only in cases of hardship (where the land cannot accomodate a conventional system) or for owner preference. As properties with alternative systems come up for sale, inspectors are not trained to perform Title 5 inspections. According to BOH administrator Linda Fantasia, a possible interim solution is to request the company that provides the system to certify the unit and the Title 5 inspector to certify all other septic components.

Singulair system on School Street

At its June 18 meeting the BOH discussed the size of an alternative technology system marketed by Singulair for a four-bedroom home at 626 School Street. Currently a four-bedroom house requires a septic system that can process 440 gallons per day, or 660 gallons per day if a garbage grinder is installed. Local regulations state that all new systems must be designed to accomodate a garbage grinder.

Singulair offers biological degradation systems for 500 and 750 gallons. In this case, bigger is not better as too large a unit may not develop appropriate biological concentrations to function efficiently. The company contacted Fantasia with a concern that the 750-gallon unit may be too large. To solve the problem the board recommended that the owners install a garbage grinder to increase the biological load.

10 Stearns Street addition

Engineer Joe March of Stamski and McNarry presented a proposal for construction of a barn with office space at 10 Stearns Street. Because the lot is only a half acre, the maximum size septic is for two bedrooms. The board approved the system contingent on a two-bedroom deed restriction.

78 Stearns Street addition

The owner of an eight-room house built in 1973 plans to expand the basement garage adding two levels above, for a new family room/study and two bedrooms. The 500-gallon septic system passed the Title 5 inspection and can accomodate a five-bedroom house. The board approved the addition with a deed restriction prohibiting a garbage grinder.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito