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Friday, September 15, 2006

Residents Air Concerns on Y Septic System

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State Department of Environmental Protection officials were in Westport tonight to gather comments from the public on the septic system that would go with the proposed new Westport-Weston Family Y facility at Camp Mahackeno.

Because of the size of the proposed septic system—it would process 34,000 gallons of effluent per day—the state agency needs to issue a permit.

The hearing in Westport tonight was to gather public input, but it will be continued with testimony from the applicant and intervening groups like Y Downtown at a later date.

A large number of residents expressed concerns about the size of the septic system and its location near the Saugatuck River.

Debbie McGinnley, a Rices Lane resident and Y Downtown president, said larger systems mean a larger failure if it hapens.

People don’t want that happening near the Saugatuck River, which is already polluted.

Margaret Miner, Connecticut River Alliance executive director, said the group is not for or against the larger septic systems, but she has concerns about it.

State officials need to find out why they break down or perform well so they can use the information, she said.

A higher level of protection is needed, she said, such as reports every two years rather than every 10.

Westporter Mindy Goldberg said people send their children to Camp Mahackeno every summer because it is an old-fashioned camp outside.

“They don’t send their kids there to be next to a septic system,” she said. “They send them there so they can enjoy the outdoors.”

Posted 09/15/06 at 01:27 AM


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