LAKE GEORGE — A report detailing the areas of Lake George where septic systems need to be replaced and upgraded is set to be completed by spring.
Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky told the Lake George Town Board on Monday that the data collection is nearly complete.
Three pieces of data are being collected: the water quality in that area, the age of the septic system and whether it has been inspected.
These three pieces of data will be laid on top of each other in a map to create a useful tool.
“We can really fine tune areas of concern where we should prioritize and take a greater look,” he said.
The process is coming along, according to Navitsky.
“We are shooting to have all the inventories by the end of the year, then we can finalize the mapping over the first couple of months (of 2018),” he said.
Navitsky anticipates holding a public hearing on the plan in the spring and then submitting it to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Navitsky said this project could be used as a model for other municipalities to address septic problems. Officials have been in contact with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, which is interested in using this approach as a model for other water bodies in New York.
“These three layers of data, I think, could help a lot of other communities in the state,” he said.
Once the plan is adopted, the next step is to actually fund septic system improvements, according to Navitsky.
“In the fall time, we could start to see that,” he said.
The town is considering implementing a program in which it would pay half of the cost for people to upgrade their failing septic systems.
Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said there is a line item in the budget. The Fund for Lake George provided money to the town for 2017 for this program and he anticipates it would provide funding again for 2018.
The Fund for Lake George held a Septic Summit in March and invited municipalities from around the region to come and learn about ways to reduce sewer pollution. All of the presentations were videotaped.
The Fund put a video on its website as kind of an outreach to other municipalities so they can learn about this project. The website is located at https://fundforlakegeorge.org/
The project started a few years ago as an initiative of the town in response to algae blooms that were in the area of Diamond Point Road. The town of Lake George, in December 2015, received a $104,000 state Department of Environmental Conservation grant.