Additional consideration is needed for Cazenovia Lake sewers systems

Guest Column

All of the lake (including that portion presently covered by sewers) is contained in a watershed within which there are or have been farms and other rural property, the runoff from which impacts the lake. There are also properties where the owners continue to apply chemicals for their lawns and shrubs. Sewers will not affect either of these factors.

The lake also has a very significant population of geese, ducks, seagulls and an assortment or other wild and domestic animals — the waste from which may well be having a significant impact on water quality.

The properties outside the present sewer district are required to have functioning septic systems or holding tanks. The systems are subject to periodic testing by a representative of the town. If the systems do not pass inspection, repairs or replacement may be required. If the town’s enforcement officer needs additional help, perhaps that should be considered.

No information has been published regarding information on properties that are unable to apply present day technology to resolve any waste disposal issues they may have.

In support of the town’s decision to explore the possibility of installing sewers, a study was commissioned and water samples were taken at locations of the lake generally described in that study.

The study or survey reflected that 57.66 percent of those responding did not want sewers. We do not know how the people who did not respond would vote, and as importantly, we do not know how all the property owners would vote if they were provided complete and accurate information — including firm costs for the project including debt service, operating costs, the cost for each property owner to connect to the proposed system and other factors possibly affecting the lake.

With regard to the water testing that was performed by James Cunningham in September 2011, he advised the sampling was done after a period of particularly heavy rain and while there was wind on the lake. It is interesting to note that the results of a partial retest (only E. Coli/ CFU were tested in the second test) done in September 2012 were in almost all instances at material variance with the results of the first test.

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