Friday, March 14, 2008
Shorts from the Board of Health, March 11
• 81 Craigie Circle. A representative of Stamski and McNary made a proposal that the Board grant a waiver for a well less than the required 25 feet from the right of way (22.5 feet). The Board accepted the proposal.
• 15 Stearns Street. The Board did not have enough data to conclude whether this seasonal drainage problem is a health issue, and will re-evaluate at a subsequent meeting.
• Loan program. The Board recommends that the town begin to offer a Community Septic Loan Program (CSLP). Loans would be used to allow homeowners to upgrade their septic systems. Town Meeting will include a Warrant Article regarding adoption of this program.
• Health Fair. The BOH Health Fair will be March 29, from 9 a.m. to noon at Town Hall. It will include a representative from the Lyme Disease Association, and clinical testing conducted by Emerson Hospital staff. Town officers will be on hand to distribute information and handouts about topics such as the Neighborhood Networks program, and medical reserve volunteers may pick up their photo ID badges at the fair.
• Kimball’s Farm plans to reopen on schedule. After failing state inspections last summer the Westford ice-creamery has developed an operational plan that includes major changes in packaging, labeling, distribution, etc.
• Ham radios. The Board recently purchased two Ham radios with an emergency municipal shelter grant of $1,800, as part of the emergency preparedness plan. According to BOH agent Linda Fantasia, one will be kept at the Town Hall and one will be kept at the Carlisle School.
• The annual Rabies Clinic willbe held on Sunday, March 16, 1 to 3 p.m. at Town Hall.
• Hazardous Waste Collection Day will be on May 3, from 9 a.m.to noon.
• Changes to septic regs. The Board of Health reopened the public hearing on proposed revisions to the towns’ supplementary sewage disposal regulations. There were no comments from the audience;however the revisions had been circulated among town boards and other interested parties and the BOH received several suggestions via e-mail.
The board decided against a suggestion to require that larger septic systems be farther from wetlands and neighboring properties than small septic systems. However, they decided that every three years large septic systems (2,000 gal+) will be inspected and down-gradient water tested if monitoring wells were installed. Large systems will be required to have hydrological studies performed and these studies may in some cases inlcude groundwater-monitoring wells. The board voted not to require groundwater-monitoring wells for all large septic systems (2000 gal+), with the understanding that pre-existing monitoring wells would remain, and the board could order water testing when necessary.
The board defined wetlands “as defined by state Title V and town conservation bylaws” and removed the wording “land subject to flooding” and other language refering to brooks, vernal pools, etc.
On a suggestion from the engineering firm Stamski and McNary, the BOH changed regulations to set the “limit that all breakout slopes and retaining walls shall be no closer than five feet from all property lines to allow for construction of a swale to redirect surface water flow.” Formerly, a swale was required whenever the breakout slope came within ten feet of the property line.
The BOH decided that for the large systems, the 5 ml maximum nitrogen standard will apply to water tests at “project property lines,” revised from just “property lines.” Water quality may fall below this standard (but not exceed 10 ml) across lots within a subdivision as long as the 5 ml standard is met at the subdivision perimeter. There should also be no rise in the level of groundwater at the property line, according to the hydrological model.
The BOH wanted more information about features that are normally included in a hydro-geological report and what constitutes standard criteria for requiring a study or issuing a rejection.
In addition, the BOH decided against the suggestion to reduce the 2,000-gallon threshold, in part because the size is consistent with Title V.
A draft copy including all of the boards proposed revisions is available at Town Hall. The public hearing will remain open for comments. The board expects to close the hearing and possibly vote on the revisions at their meeting on March 25.
• Schedule. Upcoming Board of Health meeting dates include March 25, April 8, April 22, and May 13. ∆
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