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Fishing on Glen Lake

Alexander Molnar, 10, of Long Island, fishes on Glen Lake in July 2017. Town officials are trying to find ways to keep wastewater out of the lake and are applying for a grant that will consider the feasibility of sewer.

QUEENSBURY — Glen Lake residents, don’t give up on the idea of sewer yet.

Some residents said at a recent meeting that they ought to just find a way to get sewer, rather than worrying about complex laws on how and when to test septic systems near the lake. But the idea was pooh-poohed by a town consultant who supports a proposed new septic testing law.

The Department of Health later emphasized that it prefers sewer, encouraging Glen Lake residents to keep looking for ways to make it happen.

The agency prefers sewer over septic systems “due to the oversight of testing and monitoring involved.”

In other words: septic systems can leak unnoticed for years, while state and local officials are tasked with testing sewer systems regularly.

Town officials are moving forward with a grant application to do a sewer feasibility study for the Glen Lake area. The study will look at what options residents have for all possible wastewater systems.

Paul Derby, president of the board of the Glen Lake Protective Association, is hopeful that at least part of the lake could get sewer eventually.

“Ideally, it would be the best,” he said. “I think it’s a possibility.”

But it would take years — at best.

He noted that sewer service runs along Route 9 — Great Escape is on sewer — and that there is sewer to the north on Bay Road. The closest end to the lake would be Route 9, but a system there would likely only serve the southwestern side of the lake. A connection to Bay Road would serve the northeastern side of the lake.

“We’ve been thinking about this forever,” he said. “I like the idea because I think it’s the best possible.”

But even so, he said, it would be costly. People are in favor of sewer now without knowing the price. That could change if the dollar figure is sky-high, he said.

The state likes the idea too, saying that sewer is particularly ideal for small, rocky lots, which describes much of the Glen Lake properties.

But the lake missed its one great opportunity, Derby said.

In 1977, a proposed sewer line would have run up the bike trail, near the lake. That would have made it easy for some waterfront residents to hook on. But that sewer line never happened.

At a meeting last week, some residents jumped on the idea of building a lakewide sewer district. Supervisor John Strough warned them that it could be “hugely expensive,” but the residents didn’t back down.

“How huge?” one of them countered, while others noted that a new septic system could cost them $20,000 to $50,000 each, including design. A few people are worried that their lots are so small they’ll have to switch to holding tanks when their septic system fails.

“And it takes all the pollution away from the lake,” Derby said. “It’s the ideal.”

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


reporter - Health care, Moreau, Queensbury, South Glens Falls

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