Town septic law needs improving
The discussion of septic systems surrounding local bodies of water has been relatively one-sided. How callous must one be to argue against clean water/air in our local communities? The motives of the individual advocates are not the problem regarding this specific issue; the proposed solutions are where we diverge.
At first glance, Queensbury Town Code 137 leaves one with little to argue against. Are undersized, compromised, leaking systems that potentially flow directly into a body of water harmful to human utility of the local environment? Yes. Is it important for property owners to update their waste systems if they are of an antiquated design? Yes.
However, it is not for the state to step in with bureaucratic action after realizing these mandates do not carry the same momentum at the county level as they do with select municipalities.
After pilfering through Queensbury’s 2018 addition to the town code, a few questions arise. Why is the responsibility put on the current property owner instead of the purchaser to update potential septic violations? One purchases a property because they choose to purchase said property, regardless of renovations/modifications that are necessary.
Why are all holding tanks required to have an electric float/alarm? Are property owners not trusted with monitoring their own waste systems and must make potentially expensive updates in order to sell their own private property? Again, why is the onus not put on the purchaser?
Finally, most importantly, why did the town feel it necessary to forbid properties to leach into a neighboring piece of land? These local governments are overreaching by creating a homogeneous mandate regarding the complex nature of existing individual property deeds in their attempt to penalize current landowners.
We need to divorce ourselves from the mindset of broad-stroke government mandates. They are not the way forward.
Eric Geisel, Putnam Station