Community groups and a local septic service company are cooperating to provide discounted septic system pumping to homeowners in the Eckford Chain watershed, which includes Blue Mountain, Eagle and Utowana Lakes, and is the headwaters of the Raquette River.
While Blue Mountain Lake has some of the highest quality water in the state and there is no immediate threat, cottages and houses, some with systems that are quite old, grace the shorelines and tributaries and a pumped-out septic system works better. The goal is to enhance awareness about septic and sewage issues and to inspire homeowners with septic systems to take timely action, perhaps learning the location of their tank and leach field for the first time.
Many camp owners who live in a city where sewage disappears to be processed elsewhere have little understanding of how it works in the country. This program is expected to encourage camp owners and residents, instead of putting off action to a vague future or waiting for their drains to back up, to start now with the small step of a pump out.
J H Schrade Enterprises charges $290 for the service which includes both pumping and inspection. Under this initiative the homeowner pays 50%, and the Blue Mountain Lake Fund’s grant covers the remainder, up to $145.
For 2019 the program’s goals are to inspire twenty households to have their systems pumped. Private, non-commercial properties in the watershed which have not been pumped in 5 years are eligible. An oversight committee representing each organization will maintain a list of participating eligible properties. A homeowner should start by scheduling a visit from J H Schrade and asking a member of the oversight committee to add them to the list.
The inspection, including a recommendation for future pumping intervals, is entirely confidential between J H Schrade and the homeowner. Results are not shared with government agencies nor with the oversight committee.
When the J H Schrade driver comes for a first visit, if the tank’s access cover is easily uncovered, the tank will be pumped out, otherwise the driver will indicate where to dig. The homeowner can dig the hole themselves or can pay J H Schrade for that service.
The program is a joint effort between the Blue Mountain Lake Association, Water Watch and the Blue Mountain Lake Fund with services provided by J H Schrade Enterprises of North Creek.
If you own a house in the Blue Mountain, Eagle and Utowana Lakes watershed, this is an opportunity to do good for the environment at low cost. Call J H Schrade today (518) 251-3115 to schedule a visit and ask a member of the oversight committee, Christine Blakeney, Ellen Butz or Andy Coney, to add your name to the list.
Map of Eckford Chain of Lakes courtesy Adirondack Atlas.