As home sales continue to be robust throughout the Tri-Town area, engineering firms are busy working for clients who have to address the condition of existing septic systems. With Wetlands Protection Act regulations prompting careful review of systems that may have reached their peak of efficiency decades ago, newer standards mandate upgrades.
And so, on January 16, as the majority of the community was enjoying the warmth of hearth and home, the Rochester Conservation Commission was handling two hearings dealing with septic system upgrades.
First up was Chris Capone of S & K Engineering, representing Ronald Oliveria of Acushnet for property located at 14 Mattapoisett Road. The existing subsurface sewage disposal system is proposed to be replaced with a 1,500-gallon septic tank, 1,000-gallon lift station, and leaching area within the 200-foot riverfront area – a jurisdictional location.
Capone said the majority of the work would be taking place in the 200-foot area – an improvement over where the existing system is positioned just 50 feet from protected areas. He said the Title 5 compliant system will have about a 20-year lifespan for the two-bedroom residence it will serve.
Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon informed the commission that she had reviewed all delineations and that it was a good filing making a bad situation better. She said the property is currently in the process of being sold.
Commission member Daniel Gagne asked about the possibility that the septic system could be tied into any existing or future emergency generator power.
While the commissioners did believe they could not mandate the installation of generator power, they decided to condition their negative Determination of Applicability to include that option, if available.
Also coming before the commission was Darren Michaelis, Foresight Engineering, representing Sonia Amaral of 28 Snows Pond Road. Amaral is the new owner of the property.
The Notice of Intent filing was intentional, Michaelis said, indicating he wanted to ensure his client understood the restrictions and requirements for any alterations within jurisdictional areas. The property contains a 100-foot buffer zone abutting cranberry bogs.
Michaelis said the new system will replace a failed septic and that a MassDEP number had been received, as well as notification from Natural Heritage that wildlife would not be negatively affected.
The commission issued an Order of Conditions allowing the project to advance.
In other business, Farinon said that the Rochester Finance Committee, also meeting on this night, would be reviewing the commission’s request for new fee structures and that the Board of Selectmen had agreed with the plan in a previous meeting.
The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for February 6 at 7:00 pm in the town hall meeting room.
Rochester Conservation Commission
By Marilou Newell