The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 20, 2002


Lower Banta-Davis best site for school septic plant

Hydrogeological studies of the Banta-Davis Land off Bedford Road are expected to confirm that the best location for the leaching field for the new school wastewater treatment plant is at the back of the lower playing field. The engineering firm GZA will give a full report on its findings to the school building committee this week.

The present school septic system has been in "technical failure" under Title 5 regulations for several years and is pumped out monthly. The septic system is not in physical failure, however. The school building committee plans to replace the current failed septic system with a new wastewater treatment facility designed to meet the needs of the existing school and any future of the school expansion. (See story on page 1.)

Once the location of the leaching field for the school is finalized, the design firm HTA will design the field and wastewater treatment plant building and apply for a ground water discharge permit with the state department of environmental protection. The project will then be put out to bid for the construction phase. Once bids are received, the building committee will ask the town to approve funds to construct the system. The building committee received permission to expend funds for the wastewater facility design and permitting costs at the 2001 Fall Town Meeting.

Up to 60% of the cost of the new wastewater system is eligible for reimbursement by the Massachusetts School Building Assistance Bureau, although it may take several years for the town to receive the reimbursement.

The building committee has been working with the recreation commission to ensure the leaching field does not encroach on the existing town playing fields. The committee has offered the recreation commission storage space for its sports equipment in a separate area attached to the proposed wastewater treatment building.

Treatment plant exempt from Rivers Protection Act

The new school septic system, planned to be located on the Banta-Davis Land since 1996, was previously held up by a lawsuit brought by an abutter. The Rivers Protection Act was cited in the suit because Pages Brook, a year-round stream located on Church Street, must be crossed by a sewage pipe running from the school down to the lower Banta-Davis Land.

Engineers have since advised the building committee that the school needs a wastewater treatment facility rather than a septic system due to increased enrollments which have increased flow rates at the school. Through a technicality in the law, a wastewater treatment plant is exempt from Rivers Protection Act regulations. Though less costly, the previous plan that proposed a new septic system for the school was not exempt from the Rivers Protection Act.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito