Proposed change to waterfront septic regulations could cost homeowners big bucks

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Queensbury officials heard public opinion on a proposal that would change how waterfront septic systems are regulated.

The law would require homeowners with waterfront properties to have their septic system inspected by the town before selling.

If the system is fails inspection, the homeowner will be required to fork over the funds for alterations or replacement -- up to $20,000.

Officials say they are starting with waterfront homes as the initial trial because they are the obvious sources of pollution from inadequate wastewater treatment.

Officials say no systems are grandfathered in.

Tonight, those who live on Glen Lake weighed in -- some raised concerns about life estates, homes that are passed down in families, and what if the younger generations can't afford to keep the property, but also can't sell because they can't afford a new septic system if they fail inspection.

Others argued that the law should not be required for homes that have newer systems within the last ten years that have already been town-approved.

"I don't see what value this law would have. Almost everybody you see in the room, everybody I know that lives on the lake wants the lake to be clean. I think the town could do a lot better by educating them and helping them get better systems through grants to put a system in," said Queensbury resident David Doster.

Waterfront homeowner Pamela Cembrook defended the measure, saying, "Without the lake, you have nothing, so if you think the lake, if you pollute the lake, you don't have a little piece of paradise to have when you come up here so anybody who lives on the lake should want to take care of it."

There were several residents who support the law as a necessary means to protect the water.

There was no vote Wednesday night, the town Supervisor says they will take all arguments heard into consideration, make changes, and present a revised law at a formal public hearing.

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