Town Sewer Gaining Users

The May 16 public meeting of the Marion Board of Health provided the members with an opportunity to hear from familiar design engineers on septic projects around town.

            Dave Davignon of Schneider, Davignon & Leone, Inc., was on hand to represent the owners of septic systems at 1 West Drive and 2A West Drive.

            In his update to the board, Davignon reviewed 1 West Drive as having proposed a new septic system as part of a teardown of an existing house and a new-dwelling plan for the purposes of obtaining a building permit. The intention, he explained, was never to tie into that septic system because, as anticipated, there is a new, approved septic plan to tie into town sewer that comes down Point Road to North Drive and ending at the west end of West Drive.

            A town-ordained review via Weston & Sampson resulted in a delay of several months, but Davignon told the Board of Health that the Select Board approved the sewer extension. Manhole and sewer-line installation is imminent, to be followed by testing with a plan to be up and running during the second half of July.

            Meantime, a grinder pump and force main are operational. The resident’s request is to temporarily pump to 2A West Drive for a maximum of two months, after which both homes would be connected to town sewer by the end of July.

            The board considered the plan reasonable.

            Marion Public Health Director Lori Desmarais corroborated the Select Board’s approval of the sewer extension and noted that Department of Public Works Director Becky Tilden vouched for the details and logistics of the plan.

            Davignon also represented the owner of property at 2 West Drive, a separate entity.

            The proposal at 2 West Drive involves an addition, renovation and a “lifting” of the house into compliance with FEMA regulations relative to the flood zone in which it resides.

            The homeowner wishes to use a sewer manhole as a temporary holding tank for the grinder pump. They also plan to live in the cabana building while work is being done on the house. Davignon said up to nine different contractors are involved altogether.

            Desmarais said a written pumping contract is necessary, and on that premise, the board voted to approve.

            In an informal discussion, Brian Grady of G.A.F. Engineering was present to represent the owner of a septic system at 18 Sippican Lane and told the board what is being proposed is a multiyear, phased project.

            The addition to the existing home will consist of living space, including a couple of bedrooms. Grady said that the system installed in 2002 can accommodate the addition of the bedrooms, but the plan is to replace the septic tank and pump chamber with “IA technology” (denitrification) system.

            Grady said the proposal is to give the two-bedroom addition above the garage its own septic system.

            As a second home, a 2022 test that yielded data of 50 gallons per day was considered consistent with second-home usage. The house will continue to function as a second home.

            Since the addition above the garage is to be used only three weeks per year, Grady proposed a conventional septic system dedicated to that addition.

            Pumping across to the main system, Grady explained, is complicated by the fact the tennis court and parking area on the property are situated approximately 12 inches above the water table.

            Grady plans to apply to declassify a drainage ditch on the site currently classified as a river because it is dry.

            Dr. Edward Hoffer, chairman of the board, agreed that a conventional system is appropriate given the limited use planned by the owner. “The problem is what happens when they sell it, and somebody moves in who’s got four kids …,” said Hoffer.

            Grady suggested drafting a deed restriction to be recorded with the sale of the property, which passed a Title 5 inspection in 2022 because, as Grady noted, the property’s seasonal usage.

            “I’m comfortable with something like that,” said Hoffer. “The big thing that I want to protect against is when it’s sold and now it becomes a four or five-bedroom (situation) with a limited (septic) system.”

            Board member Albin Johnson said this quandary is “one of the reasons I want to rescind the (town’s) nitrogen regulation. … We have septic systems in town that passed Title 5 and (if) you do anything now in the town, you’ve got to upgrade.”

            Dr. John Howard nodded his agreement that as long as it is seasonal use, then a conventional system dedicated to the two-bedroom addition proposed above the garage is appropriate.

            Rick Charon of Charon Associates did not appear, having been granted a continuance in the case of a septic system upgrade at East Avenue.

            In her update, Desmarais told the board that Frank Murphy has taken over beach testing this year from John Powers. Semiprivate beaches were scheduled in May, and Desmarais said public and semipublic beaches are set to begin testing on June 10. Marion Health Agent Shallyn Rodriguez will serve as Murphy’s backup in testing. Routine testing between June 10 and September 2 is funded by the state.

            On Tuesday, Plymouth County Mosquito Control began receiving requests for spraying at homes.

            Desmarais reported that approximately 30 residents attended Marion’s Stroke Awareness event on May 1 and approximately 20 residents for a “lunch and learn” event on May 16. Animal Control Officer Sue Connor presented on domestic animal bites and wildlife.

            Wednesday walking events have been met with rain, but persistent participants are continuing with the program.

            The plotter (large printer) being replaced in the Town House will stay at the Board of Health, where it is frequently needed.

            The Public Health Excellence Grant will cover Marion’s epi-pens, which last approximately one year and can be stored at room temperature.

            The board agreed to meet monthly through the summer, but the next meeting of the Marion Board of Health was not announced upon adjournment.

Marion Board of Health

By Mick Colageo

Leave A Comment...