A new septic inspection program around Lake George could commence as early as the spring, with just over 500 properties becoming the first to submit to a new requirement that septic systems in critical areas in the lake basin get inspected every five years.
The Lake George Park Commission, which has been developing the regulatory proposal for around 18 months, cleared its latest process hurdle with a public hearing the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
The comments were largely supportive of new septic inspection requirements, but some raised concerns about newer, better maintained systems being treated the same as old, malfunctioning ones.
The Lake George Park Association, which supports the program and promised to invest funds into helping residents replace failing systems, did ask that a new septic standard be extended to 100 feet from the shore.
The inspection requirement will apply to septic systems within 500 feet of the lakeshore or 100 feet of a stream within the Lake George Basin and is expected to apply to about 2,700 parcels. While residents will be required to get their septic inspected and pumped out once every five years, they will be charged a $50 annual fee to keep the program going.
The park commission indicated it could vote on final approval at its December or January meeting and commence the program next year.
Speaking of septic systems, I made note of a release last week from the governor’s office about $2.25 million in new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help fund septic system improvements on Long Island.
Septic replacement can cost well over $10,000, so every dollar of support helps. Demand for the state’s existing septic replacement fund, which can help Lake George residents, far outstrips supply. It’s possible the newly-approved $4.2 billion environmental bond act will also fund septic replacement.
Another thing to watch out for is whether the Lake George program spurs action elsewhere in the park, where aging septic systems threaten water quality on numerous lakes and ponds.
Photos by Zachary Matson. This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.