Plans to Connect School to Sewer District Proceeds


NORTH SALEM, N.Y.-- During its meeting on March 22, The North Salem Town Board was updated on planned changes to link the North Salem Middle/High School to the Peach Lake Sewer District.

Town Supervisor Warren Lucas told fellow board members that construction bids were going out that week and that once a bid is accepted, work would likely take between 3-4 months to complete. Lucas said the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)project will involve installing pumps at the school as well as a 3” pipeline that will run from the school up Bloomer Road to Bonneview where they will make the connection to the Peach Lake Sewer District. 

Under the new system, all the wastewater will go into a holding tank, which, when it reaches a certain level, the pump will go on, and it will be pumped down along Bloomer Road.  Lucas said the additional waste from the school will not seriously impact the sewer district’s capacity. “The plant right now has a capacity of 170,000 gallons,” he said. “It averages about 50,000 gallons currently in the sewer district. The school will send in no more than 7,000 gallons a day.”There are approximately 480 homes in the Peach Lake Sewer District, 120 of which are in the Town of Southeast. It also includes 121 and other restaurants along Bloomer Road.

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Plans began two years ago to install a new sewer plant on the school property as the DEP sought ways to mitigate excess phosphorus runoff from the school’s existing septic system into the nearby swamp on the property. 
 Plans to mitigate the problem were costly. It was estimated that $750,000 alone would be needed for site plans to convert a building on the school’s property into a sewage plant. The plan was abandoned in favor of making the school part of the Peach Lake Sewer District.

Lucas considers the move a win-win for the school district.
 “The last thing you want was to have a building that big next to the school,”  he said. “Everybody tells you that it doesn’t have a smell..but it does, especially during start-up at the end of the summer. Not the best thing especially around homecoming games. So from my point of view, for the school at least, not to have a sewage plant there is very beneficial.”

Sunset Ridge Water District Update
Also at the March 22 Town Board meeting, board members were briefed on the latest plans for the Sunset Ridge Water District. Lucas told them he will meet soon with homeowners in the water district who will be given the opportunity to decide whether they intend to move forward with the possible installation of a filtration system would serve to remove uranium from the drinking water.

The board authorized a $2,000 payment to engineer Jim Caggiano to put together a cost estimate for the installation of the filtration system. Caggiano gave the town an estimate for $34,0000 to design the filtration system. That cost would be lowered, Lucas said, to $32,000 if the board approves the bid at a later date.  

Lucas says he plans to spend the next few weeks applying for a clean water act grant, which, if approved, would be used toward the Sunset Ridge Water District’s filtration system installation, should the homeowners vote to move ahead with plans. 
“My guess is, it’s going to cost about $400 per home, on top of the current charges, annually if I don’t get the loan.  I will try other grants if need be. It’s a decision that they are all going to have to make,” Lucas explained. 

Uranium levels taken from water samples in the Sunset Ridge Water District in November was 23.47 pCi/l for Uranium, over the 20 pCi/l four quarter limit. The test result taken on February 12,  however, was 13.4 pCi/l, a significant decrease, which moved the full year quarterly average below the 20pCi/l limit. 

The Sunset Ridge Water District includes a total of 96 parcels and spans Daniel Road, Sunset Drive, Alice Road, Park Lane, Ridgeway Avenue and Westview Avenue in North Salem except for properties that have their own well systems. It also includes the Waterview Hills and Salem Hills nursing homes on Rt. 22 in Purdys.

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