RCL Notes of Parson’s Creek Pollution Report to BOS 11-28-16

Parsons Creek Restoration Committee Report and Recommendations

Presented to Board of Selectmen November 28, 2016

For online streaming of the presentation to the Selectmen click here

Presentation starts at 24:30 elapsed, 7:04PM

Highlights

  • Data at sampling points is highly variable over time. It is difficult to conclude source and type of bacteria
  • There were no high counts at the Parsons Creek outlet this year.  An old pipe north of the outlet will be removed this year and output sampled.
  • 36% or 227 properties in the watershed have reported under the septic pump out ordinance. All should have reported that they had either been pumped out in the last 3 years or gotten pumped out this year.
  • 13 reported systems are suspect. The surprise has been the number, 5-6 to date, DES approved decades old “temporary” holding tanks for which DES has not followed up the mandatory reporting (DES staffing issues).
  • The building inspector’s two letters to the most suspect 20 locations, offering a free septic evaluation, has produced only 1 response to date.
  • Dog waste has been identified as a potential source of bacteria.
  • Public sewer is not recommended at this time. A basic, first engineering overview would cost $90-$130K

Recommendations

  1. A Parsons Creek Watershed Ordinance for 2018:
    1. Consider using the provisions of NH SB 210, and as starting point the Merideth NH and MA septic ordinances and laws, such that on any transfer of property in the watershed there be a full evaluation of the septic system carried out by a NH certified septic evaluator with repairs or replacements made if required
    2. Commercial properties to be evaluated on a regular frequency and not just at a property transfer.
    3. Study if “advanced” type septic systems should be required in the watershed-an RFP for an expert to advise is currently active.
    4. Further investigate holding tank systems and their status, some may be leaking.
    5. Strengthen dog waste ordinance-underway
    6.  Additional town staffing needed to monitor pumps outs, update database of septic systems and follow up on the suspect failed and holding tanks and 64% currently unreported properties.
    7. Continue sampling, extending the 319 Grant which has funded monitoring
    8. Sample Eel Pond and Awcomin Marsh outlet at Rye Harbor to have a baseline for comparison to Parsons area.
    9. Work with NH DOT to remove constrictions in flow from slumping stone work at the 1A Parsons Creek bridge.
    10. Consider committee a for 2017-2018 to continue work including for an ordinance
    11.  Increase education and information (to include sampling data) efforts via town web site.

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