Starting this month, owners of residential and commercial septic systems situated within 500 feet of Lake George or 100 feet of a major tributary will be notified by the Lake George Park Commission that according to rules it adopted unanimously December 20, those systems must be emptied and inspected at least once every five years.
Owners of residential systems within the critical areas will be subject to an annual fee of $50, those with commercial systems, $100, to be paid before April 1 of every year.
Those invoices will be mailed to property owners in February or early March, according to Dave Wick, the Commission’s executive director.
The new fees will fund the annual costs of the inspections, which will start in May and end in November, said Wick.
According to Wick, one fifth of the 2,700 systems mandated for inspection – or 540 of them – will be inspected every year.
Those whose systems have been inspected within the past few years will receive a temporary reprieve, not to exceed five years.
The 540 systems to be inspected this year will be distributed geographically around the lake according to a selection process that is still in the process of being developed, said Wick.
According to Joe Thouin, the Park Commission’s Environmental Analyst, the inspections will be conducted by trained Lake George Park Commission technicians, although the regulations state the Commission may delegate those duties to other qualified professionals, such as engineers.
Those whose systems are scheduled to be inspected will be instructed to make an appointment with a septage hauler to empty the system when the inspector is on site.
(All wastewater treatment systems in the Lake George basin – regardless of whether they are in the Wastewater Inspection Program area or not – must be cleaned by a registered septic hauler at least once every decade, the draft regulations state.)
According to Wick, Lake George Village’s is the best if not the only wastewater treatment system within the Lake George basin able to treat septic sludge.
The plants in Bolton and Hague are not equipped to process the material, said Wick,
But according to Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais, Lake George, however, must modify its new wastewater treatment plant if it is to accept higher volumes of septage from haulers. At its November meeting, the Village’s Board of Trustees voted to retain C.T. Male Associates to conduct a study of the plant to determine what upgrades are needed if it is to process more septage.