Warren County is considering adoption of a law requiring homeowners to have septic systems inspected upon transfer of their property.
“If there are any failing (systems), they would have to address them,” said Glens Falls 3rd Ward Supervisor Claudia Braymer at Tuesday’s meeting of the Environmental Concerns and Real Property Tax Services Committee meeting.
The law is modeled after one Queensbury adopted in 2019.
Braymer said the law would apply to all wastewater treatment systems within 250 feet of a specific list of water bodies: Lake George, Schroon Lake, Schroon River, Brant Lake, Loon Lake, Lake Luzerne and the Hudson River.
The list would be attached in an appendix to the law, so it could easily be updated.
The law does have a provision that states any municipality can opt out. Other communities that have their own local laws are Glens Falls, Bolton and Chester.
The law states: “The intent of this county law is to protect groundwater, surface water bodies and soils from contaminating exposure to excess nutrients and pollutants. Warren County finds that due to inadequate design, maintenance or operation, all septic systems have the potential to contribute pollution and harmful nutrients to the waters of Warren County.”
“In addition, such septic systems pose a threat to public health with particularly acute impacts on the general public through contaminated drinking water and can create widespread negative environmental impacts impairing recreational opportunities and contaminating precious ecological resources within Warren County,” the law goes on to say.
A property owner could appeal the determination to the Environmental Concerns and Real Property Tax Services Committee.
The committee tabled consideration of the law until next month’s meeting, because the chairman, Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson, had not had time to review it.
Dickinson said he is concerned about the harmful algal blooms in Lake George. One was discovered in November.
He plans to invite the Fund for Lake George to a meeting to discuss the issue.
Braymer said there is a connection between poorly functioning system systems that dump pollutants into the lake and harmful algal blooms, which are thought to be the result of excessive nutrients in the lake.