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Adirondack Explorer

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Town of Lake George study shows septic system issues, information gaps

A study by the Lake George Waterkeeper shows approximately one-third of septic systems that it checked within 500 feet of the Adirondack lake were near or older than their life expectancy and the ages of another one-third were unknown.

The state-funded study for the Town of Lake George also shows that the last pump-out date of more than half of the systems — on 224 of 399 properties — couldn’t be determined.

Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky presented the updated results to the Town Board on Dec. 9.

The study was based on surveys sent to residents — with about 34 percent responding _ and available municipal inventory and maintenance records.

According to the report, management programs for onsite wastewater treatment systems and septic systems are necessary and the town has put together an approach to support an inspection and management program. 

Navitsky says the report will be completed by the end of the year and reviewed by town officials, who will submit it to the state.

In nearby Queensbury, a town law effective Jan. 1 requires seller of properties zoned waterfront residential pass a town inspection of their septic systems.

Michael Virtanen

Michael Virtanen joined the Adirondack Explorer staff in March, asked to take an in-depth look at certain places, issues and unanswered questions in the Adirondack Park. He worked previously as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Morgantown, West Virginia, and at the Capitol in Albany for the wire service and for daily newspapers in Albany, Utica and Amsterdam, N.Y. He had been an occasional free-lance contributor to the Explorer and went on some outings with then-Editor Phil Brown, who once led him up the popular rock climb Pete’s Farewell on Pitchoff Chimney Cliff overlooking the Cascade lakes and Route 73 outside Lake Placid.

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