The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 15, 2003


Board of Health denies emergency beaver permit Approves septic applications

There was no representative from the Silver Hill Pond Association at the July 29 meeting of the Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) to explain the need for an emergency ten-day beaver permit. The request, which had been filed with the board earlier in the month stated that the Silver Hill Pond, 90% of which lies in Concord, was tested by the Concord Board of Health and found to have very high levels of e-coli bacteria. Because of this contamination, the pond has been closed to swimming and other recreational activities. The association believed that "the high e-coli levels could be due to the presence of beavers upstream from our swimming beach."

Board agent Linda Fantasia said that she had visited the property and found that the man-made pond is starting to deteriorate, but could find no evidence of beavers. The BOH voted to deny the application based on Fantasia's observations and a consultant's recommendations.

33 Pilgrim Path

Owner Michael Schmidt came before the board to discuss his proposed house addition. The current house has nine rooms and a recent (1996) four-bedroom septic system. Schmidt plans to increase the living space in the house but not increase the room count, expanding the kitchen into the garage, building a new garage, and removing some partitions in the existing space. The heated workshop downstairs is now counted as a room. The BOH could see no reason to disagree with Schmidt's room count, and didn't feel that a Title 5 inspection of the septic system was needed because there should be no increase in flow to the system.

However, the board was concerned with Schmidt's plan for a porch which would require support sonotubes very near the leaching field trench. Schmidt had estimated that one of the sonotubes would be about two feet from the leaching field trench as shown on the engineering drawing of the "as built" system. BOH consulting engineer Rob Frado felt that two feet would be too close and might cause hydraulic action from the pea stone bed in the leach field. A careful measurement of the distance shown on the "as built" indicated the distance would be closer to six feet.

The BOH approved the addition with no vote, but with a caution that if Schmidt finds pea stone when hand digging for the sonotubes, to let the BOH know.

18 Nowell Farme Road

Engineer Tony Del Gaizo of Ragg's Septic, Inc. presented a request for a waiver of the five-foot ground water separation the BOH requires on a replacement septic system. Del Gaizo explained that a five-foot mound would direct runoff water to the front of the house. By using a four-foot mound elevation, which would be equal to the elevation of the house, it would be possible to direct the water away from the house. Del Gaizo estimated that the failed system with its two-foot offset was one foot into the existing ground water.

"Is there no way to redirect the flow?" asked Frado. Del Gaizo explained that they considered moving the field under the driveway, but decided that the driveway would then be too steep to allow access to the garage underneath the house.

BOH member Mike Holland said that the percolation rate is good and he is willing to grant the waiver. The board voted to grant a variance to repair the system.

329 Heald Road

Engineer Kevin Hartman requested the board approve a waiver on the 12-inch pea stone under the leach bed to six inches. Hartman pointed out that while the state Title 5 law requires only six inches, Carlisle's local regulations require 12 inches. By lowering the system six inches there will be sufficient cover over the pipes to prevent having to use a pump system which would be the alternative. Also, raising the system could cause runoff into a basement window in the house. Hartman explained that he had tried to maintain a gravity flow without the need for a pumping system in his design.

Eric Bradford, who has placed an offer on the property, asked if a pumping system would be superior. Frado explained that a pump would require maintenance, and the grading would come out steeper requiring a riprap slope instead of the planned vegetative slope. Frado said the percolation rate was good and the system as presented would probably work fine.

The BOH approved the six-inch waiver and the additional waiver of an 83-foot distance between the well ant the septic system. Carlisle regulations require 100 feet from the well to any part of a septic system, though Title 5 permits 50 feet. The BOH added a condition hat the owner periodically test the well water for contamination.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito