The reason that this system is needed is that many of the existing septic systems in the town are old and are a health risk to the residents. Water studies done in the last 25 years indicate that many septic systems are malfunctioning and are contributing to the increased phosphorous levels in the Ballston Lake. Over the last 10 years, average lake phosphorous levels have been increasing significantly from 25 to 40 parts per billion (PPB).
In addition water samples from storm water along Rt. 146A indicate a significantly high level of coliform and fecal coliform bacteria. The Buell Heights area has a high concentration of homes with old septic systems and water samples from there showed mean concentrations of phosphorous over 140PPB. Buell Heights is not the only area with old septic systems. Many homes on the lake have old septic systems designed for small camp sized homes with drain fields on shale. There is minimal absorption so this water flows directly to the lake.
At this time, the town has hired Delaware Engineering to design the sewer system and to help the town secure outside funding to help pay for this project. Volunteers from the Clear Water Committee have been working on ways to educate the public about the needs for this sewer system. We all see that the lake is in danger. There is too much algae and the water is turbid in color.
If we want to reverse this process of deterioration something must be done soon. The fact that DEC has listed the lake as “Impaired Requiring a Remediation Plan”, states that a plan is needed to reduce the phosphorous load entering the lake. Therefore the Town of Ballston is developing this project as part of the plan that will reduce phosphorous and septic bacteria in the watershed.
Members on the Clear Water Committee include BLIA Board members, Richard Doyle, Ballston Planning Board Chairman, Bill Goslin Ballston Town Board member, and residents from the towns of Clifton Park and Ballston.