Friday, May 27, 2005
Shorts from the Board of Health, April 28 and May 12
• Mosquito-borne viruses. Board of Health Agent Linda Fantasia informed the board on May 12 that the town will be an active participant in the surveillance program for arbovirus (West Nile virus) following her attendance at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness regional meeting.
"They don't understand West Nile very well," summed up Fantasia. "The idea that people can contract it with mild flu-like symptoms isn't always so. [West Nile virus] can be debilitating, and it is even possible to contract it through blood transfusions." Fantasia added, "There is not enough data available."
The state, Fantasia added, is more worried about "triple E" (Eastern Equine Encephalitis), and is urging animal owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated.
• Congregational Church septic monitoring. The Board of Health granted a request by Kirk Ware of the Congregational Church to reduce the annual monitoring of the church's septic system. Ware explained, "In the course of a year we don't even fill the tank and inside everything is basically working." After discussion, the board voted to modify the septic permit to require a report every other year starting December of 2006. The system was designed and sized in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection standards. However, the regulations do not make clear the calculations for structures such as churches where the actual daily usage is low to sporadic. Chairman Martha Bedrosian remarked on the church's septic design, "It is a little overkill."
• Malcolm Meadows. The Malcolm Meadows annual report was reviewed by the Board on May 12. Malcolm Meadows is senior housing with a shared septic system. As required, their well usage is reported to the board once a year. Member Michael Holland calculated the usage at 90 gallons per day for all twelve units. Holland noted "housing aimed at a higher age might be 65 [gallons per day]." BOH agent Linda Fantasia reported that she "didn't have any complaints last year" regarding the abutting wells.
• Carleton Road. A septic replacement at 7 Carleton Road was granted a variance allowing the system to be placed 23 feet from a wetland, rather than the required the required 100-foot buffer. The board requested the applicant to consult the Conservation Commission on conventional grading as opposed to an impervious barrier which creates "a washtub-like effect." Conventional grading would extend the grading an additional five feet into the wetlands buffer.
• 229 Stearns Street. Jean Sifantus of 229 Stearns Street was before the board for review of his proposed sunroom. The board determined that the renovations would not require either a deed restriction or a change to the septic design.
• 103 Mill Pond Lane. Norman Lind of 103 Mill Pond Lane appeared before the board to review the field house being constructed with the addition of a bathroom. The board determined there would be no increase in flow and would not require a deed restriction.
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