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TORREY
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Torrey proposes new wastewater law

    TORREY—The town of Torrey has proposed a new law to address wastewater concerns.
    The town held a public hearing on the law, Tuesday, Dec. 13.  Board member Colby Petersen explained the law came about after the town did a survey to find out residents’ concerns.  He said one high priority was wastewater and septic system inspections.
    He explained that as the draft law stands, it is a “scaled down version of the Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative law.  It is also modeled after the Canandaigua watershed law.  The purpose of this law is to “preserve and protect the water quality of Seneca Lake and all other surface and groundwater resources in the Town of Torrey.  This Law is established to protect public health by ensuring adequate performance of existing wastewater treatment systems, and by optimizing the effectiveness of new systems at removing nutrients and pathogens from wastewater.”
    According to the draft (as of the public hearing), wastewater from any structure shall be discharged directly into public wastewater disposal systems if available within a distance of two hundred (200) feet of the foundation of the structure.  If no public wastewater disposal is available, residential, commercial or institutional wastewater must be treated by a wastewater treatment system approved and inspected on a scheduled basis by the Torrey Watershed Inspector.  No wastewater from a wastewater treatment system shall be deposited or allowed to escape into any water body in the town, or allowed to surface or be washed over the ground.   No wastewater shall be removed from any containment vessel and placed in or on the ground of the town without approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
    The law proposes establishing two zones.  One would be the “critical water protection zone,” shall include all land within a distance of 200 feet of the Seneca Lake mean high water mark or of a NYSDEC Classified A, B, or C Stream.  The second zone would be the rest of Torrey.  Septic systems in the first zone would have to be inspected more often.
    Petersen said some of the issues residents expressed about the draft included where inspectors would be able to go and the criteria for passing an inspection.  He said that from his perspective, the town needs to “scale back” what the law does and allows.  One thing he said he wanted to see added were incentives for residents to get tanks inspected.

 

 

 





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