The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 11, 2008


Shorts from the Board of Health, Jan. 3

· Ferns Country Store. At a prior Board of Health meeting Larry Bearfield, co-owner of Ferns, said that after giving an initial go-ahead to expand the store without requiring a public restroom, the Plumbing Inspector, Ken Rich, changed his decision (See Mosquito December 21, "Shorts from the Board of Health, December 11"). According to BOH agent Linda Fantasia, Rich declined an invitation to meet with the board, saying, "It is in the hands of the state right now."

Board Chair Jeffrey Brem asked Fantasia to reiterate the invitation and said, "We need to meet with him not to 'second guess' him on his decision but to understand the reasons."

· Supplemental Sewage Disposal Regulations. As part of an ongoing review of possible modifications to Carlisle's Supplemental Sewage Disposal Regulations, the board tentatively scheduled a public hearing for February 5. The board will review a complete draft at its January 15 meeting. Fantasia said that she will provide a summary of the proposed changes for publication prior to the February 5 public hearing. Such regulations are more restrictive than the state's Title 5 requirements. They take into account local geological, environmental and demographic factors, but, unlike Town Bylaw changes, regulations can be altered by the board without Town Meeting action.

One proposed change is to reduce the setback requirement for septic tanks, pump chambers and leaching fields from at least 100 feet from all streams and wetlands to 50 feet. Brem said, "We frequently provide a waiver of this requirement for a repair of an existing system. Perhaps this should be available for new construction." Considerable discussion ensued. One option discussed was requiring an applicant for new construction to provide a viable design with the 100-foot setback but allowing the 50-foot setback if there were "environmentally favorable" reasons for it: e.g. less tree clearing, less blacktop, better soils.

Board member Leslie Cahill had reservations, "We have significant expertise on the board now [to make such decisions], but what about subsequent boards?"

· 26 Westford Street. Alan Merry, the homeowner, met with the board to discuss an emergency order issued at its December 11 meeting. He asked for approval of a revised design as being the best option to correct the failing septic system. The board agreed to 35.6 feet to the boundary of the vegetated wetland. [State approval will be required since Title 5 requires 50 feet.] Further, the board agreed to the distance to the well to be 70.5 feet rather than its regulation of 100 feet. Merry said that the restriction providing for "no garbage grinder" has been filed. He was concerned that the engineering firm doing the work, Schoefield Engineers, could complete the project by March 5, which was the board's requirement.

· 193 Davis Road. The board responded to a request for information. The homeowner has a septic system designed for five bedrooms. With intent to finish the basement into two "rooms" [neither as a bedroom], the room count would be in violation of the BOH Rules and Regulations. Reviewing the proposed design, Brem said, "As long as they do not install the pocket door between the two 'rooms,' they should have no problem."

· 273 Cross Street With 12 years of monitoring records and no problems, the homeowner has requested the board's support to reduce the State's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) monitoring requirements for the septic system. DEP's approval included requirements for yearly pumping of the septic tank, inspection of the overflow tank and water quality tests. The board voted to recommend water quality tests every three years but retained the yearly pumping and inspection.

· Licensing fee increase. The board voted to increase licensing fees by $25. New licensing fees are: installers $125, haulers $125 and pumpers $100.

· Hazardous Waste Collection. Hazardous waste collection at the transfer station has been scheduled for May 3 from 9 a.m. to noon.

2008 The Carlisle Mosquito