Proposed septic management program moves forward

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    BYRAM-Residents of the Lake Lackawanna section of Byram will be required by next summer to begin having their septic systems pumped every three years, according to a recommendation by the township's environmental commission. The proposed septic management plan will also require homeowners to submit a map of their septic systems to the township and pay a $15 program fee every three years. Margaret McGarrity, a member of the commission, said some people already pump their septic systems on a regular basis. "The problem is, many people don't," she said. "This is a very simple program; simple, but effective. It's good for the community." The proposed management program, McGarrity said, is modeled after existing requirements implemented at Lake Mohawk and Cranberry Lake and has led to proper septic operations and maintenance in those areas as well as safeguarding the lakes against contamination. There are approximately two dozen lakes in Byram Township. "The plan has led to a series of repairs and replacements and how important that is in terms of health and the environment," said McGarrity, emphasizing the educational component of the program. "Some people don't know they have a septic system. This is a simple program that goes a long way toward producing a good result." McGarrity said the proposed ordinance, which affects about 310 homes in the Lake Lackawanna area, is currently under review by the township attorney before it will be forwarded to the Byram Board of Health for discussion at two public hearings in the spring and then to the council for adoption. A similar ordinance was first implemented at Cranberry Lake in 1990 and then later at Lake Mohawk, said McGarrity. Of the 525 homes in the Cranberry Lake section of Byram at the time the new law was passed, McGrarrity said about half of them eventually needed new septic systems. If the ordinance is adopted, homeowners will then have six months to comply or face fines. "It will be an easy introduction," said McGarrity. "People will have plenty of time to do what they have to do."