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    Secondary-dwelling-unit option eyed for Sarnia homes with partial services – Sarnia Observer - July 6, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Sarnia City HallFile photo / /The Observer

    Since December, just about every detached, semi-detached and townhouse owner in Sarnia has had the ability to create secondary dwelling units, save for those with septic systems or in areas prone to hazards like flooding.

    July 13, partial-service properties with municipal water but not sewage services could get the OK as well from city council.

    If passed, the new rules would allow homes with septic tanks to install secondary dwelling units like basement apartments, so long as those tanks can accommodate the additional fixtures, said Stacey Forfar, the citys general manager of community services.

    Owners whose tanks cant accommodate the extra can decide whether or not to upgrade their septic systems, she said

    But it certainly wont be a barrier on the planning side of things, Forfar said.

    Homes in areas prone to flooding will still not be able to build secondary dwelling units.

    The overall move is a push towards boosting affordable housing options in the city, and started with select residential areas in 2017 amid ongoing sewer system upgrades.

    The option gives homeowners a significant mortgage helper and helps with modest intensification, along with providing affordable housing options, Forfar said.

    Sarnia in recent years has seen the need for more housing amid a spike in out-of-town workers, and an increase in international students studying at Lambton College.

    Homeless shelters were full in early 2019 and 99 people were housed in local motel rooms with emergency funding.

    But few people in Sarnia have taken advantage of the option its open currently to about 85 per cent of detached, semi-detached and townhouse residential properties to add secondary dwelling units, Forfar said.

    That may be in part because Sarnias population is on average older than most places in Ontario, she said, noting typically secondary dwelling units are used by younger families as a mortgage helper.

    Usage in Sarnia hasnt really jumped through the roof yet, she said. Well see what happens now in terms of next steps.

    Affordable housing is also a key component of Sarnias community improvement plan, she said. Public feedback is currently being sought for a plan review and update at about how the city could improve and revitalize areas including downtown, Mitton Village and Northgate.

    Plans are to meet and gather feedback with people in the community throughout July, city officials said.

    There hasnt been a great volume of feedback from the community about secondary dwelling units, Forfar said, including from consultations last fall before council approved expanding the program in December.

    We didnt find this one to be particularly contentious, she said.

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    Secondary-dwelling-unit option eyed for Sarnia homes with partial services - Sarnia Observer

    Tay will study whether further development possible at two waterfront areas – OrilliaMatters.Com - April 28, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Tay council wants to know if there is potential for development in the Grandview Beach and Paradise Point areas.

    That's why councillors approved moving forward with a hydrogeological assessment todetermine the need for sewers and advise on the capacity for continued or expanded use of septic systems in that area.

    And even though they all voted to pass this motion at their most recent meeting, Coun. Barry Norris had his concerns.

    "It's more or less to point out ---here we go (again)," he said in an interview with MidlandToday.

    Norris wasn't sure why yet another assessment was needed when previous assessments existed and results had indicated well-water contamination, according to a 2015 assessment report.

    "Groundwater supplies in the Paradise Point/Grandview Beach community are highly vulnerable to bacteriological contamination," says the report.

    The study also concluded that under the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change development guidelines, the nitrate impact of the community is between 25 and 28 mg/L. If the remainder of the lots are developed, then the nitrate impact would be 27 to 30 mg/L. The current limit for development on on-site services for the area would be 22 to 63 lots.

    But public works director Peter Dance said part of that earlier report's concerns have already been addressed.

    "The municipality constructed a year-round water main in the area. So that part of the health issue, if people choose to connect to our water main is taken care of," he said.

    He added that the study's main focus is septage and advice on continued or expanded use of septic systems to determine if the current holding zone can be lifted.

    Dance said afew decades agothere'd been arecommendationfor the townshipto establisha municipal sewer system.

    "There was some grant money available at that time, too," he said. "I can't remember how much. It ended up going to the municipal board (Ontario Municipal Board) because some residents were opposed to the project."

    Mayor Ted Walker recalls the incident.

    "The OMB in the end did not approve the project and about a month later, the Walkerton situation happened," he said, adding that the decision might have been different if the appeal had been made after the Walkerton incident.

    Walker saidwith municipal water already available to residentsin that area, council is now looking at questions around whetheror not the holding zone can be suspended.

    "The study is checking the groundwater," he said."It's just an overall assessment of the water quality."

    Walker said depending on the study's results, residents in the area could likelybuild an addition or a new home. But he added all this would happen with certain conditions in place that would be determined at a later date.

    "I think all of council is hoping that there is opportunity for development down there," Walker said."Our council is very pro-development. And the other thing is to know where everything is at."

    Norris, however, has his doubts.

    "My argument to this whole thing is that there's no mandate that everybody has to hook up," he said."The problem you run into is that there will still be people on well water. And it's not drinkable, according to these reports."

    Unfortunately, Norris saidone can't go back inhistory to installboththe sewer and water lines.

    "Nowadays, the cost is a major problem because you're into the limestone," he said."After the 2015 study, the option was to put in the sewer and water line, but the cost would have been too much. Is it viable to turn around and spend that kind of money when the value of properties in that area isn't even that high?

    "I just didn't feel the expenditures justified going through with it," Norris added."I don't believe anything has changed for those vacant lots to build on."

    Tay will study whether further development possible at two waterfront areas - OrilliaMatters.Com

    Developer’s plan to use septic systems OK’d by NPC commission – Lewiston Morning Tribune - April 25, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Nez Perce County allowed four more septic systems in the Lewiston Area of City Impact on Wednesday, drawing the ire of Lewiston city officials who have been working to reduce septic impacts on groundwater quality.

    County commissioners Don Beck, Douglas Havens and Douglas Zenner granted developer Joe Grecos request to waive a requirement for a dry sewer line that would eventually serve four out of the 16 lots in the preliminary plat for phase two of his Skyview Estates subdivision on Powers Avenue. The vote came after a public hearing Wednesday that was conducted electronically to comply with the coronavirus shelter-at-home order.

    Greco said that at about $80,000, the line would not be practical to build. And since Public Health Idaho North Central District has already said the soil on the lots will support septic systems, he applied for the waiver.

    But in her written comments objecting to the request, Lewiston Community Development Director Laura Von Tersch said the city gave up acreage in the impact zone in 2014 in exchange for the countys adoption of city development standards.

    Unfortunately, many proposals have been approved without meeting standards such as one acre minimum on septics (when a sewer line is beyond 200 feet away), storm water, and more, Von Tersch wrote. Removing the requirement for the dry line on the four lots that can gravity flow to the sewer is a step in the wrong direction. It is only a matter of time before the situation demands a special assessment district or some other funding mechanism to bring sewer out to this area.

    She added that the dry sewer line will make it easier for future homeowners to hook up to city sewer and avoid trenching through what will become landscaping, pavement and accessory buildings. In his response, Greco said it is unknown how much septic systems are contributing to nitrate pollution in nearby Lindsay Creek, noting the farmland that surrounds the drainage is also a likely contributor.

    Greco also said the city sewer is more than 1,300 feet away from the most recent extension into the eastern Lewiston Orchards. A letter submitted by Michael Camin, a water quality engineering manager at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, said a nutrient-pathogen study is needed to evaluate whether the line is reasonably accessible. The city has requested such a study.

    Camin also said that DEQ offered guidance to Public Health that multiple new septic systems at Skyview can further degrade water quality in this designated ground water nitrate priority area. Wastewater systems are outside of the departments purview, Camin added, and the department only approved the construction plans because they included drinking water infrastructure that meets minimum state requirements.

    DEQ approval of the construction plans should not be construed as a preference for the dry line to be removed, he wrote.

    Private homes built in phase one of the subdivision already added about 10 septic systems to the area before the sewer trunk lines installation in 2018. The Lewiston Urban Renewal Agency partnered with the city on that $2.1 million project to bring sanitary sewer to the area, with a primary goal of reducing pollution by getting homeowners to abandon their septic systems. Dozens of homes have already switched, and others have pledged to join them in the future.

    At Wednesdays meeting, Zenner said the commissioners should approve the waiver because it meets the three main county subdivision requirements for access to the subject properties, a viable drinking water supplier in the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District (Greco still has to build a booster station) and a way to treat wastewater from the future homes. And Havens downplayed the citys concerns over septic systems in general.

    You cant just automatically say theres something incorrect about every single drainfield, Havens said, noting that a properly designed and installed system can effectively treat wastewater.

    Havens also repeated his claim that a section of the nearby city sewer system was not planned and built properly, and is too narrow to handle the number of future hookups in the area. But Joe Kaufman, the citys engineering project supervisor for wastewater and stormwater, said the original design report for the line shows the section has a capacity for 2,800 homes.

    The report outlines the 450 existing homes on septic systems, the 367 anticipated at Skyview Estates and an additional 450 of infill development in the spaces in between, Kaufman said in an email to the Lewiston Tribune.

    This can provide some context for the 2,800 capacity, Kaufman said.

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    Developer's plan to use septic systems OK'd by NPC commission - Lewiston Morning Tribune

    Letters to the editor – Keypennews - March 28, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Key Centers Sewage Woes

    I read with interest your story on Key Centers sewage woes (Wastewater Treatment Limits Business Growth, KP News, March 2020). I spend a fair amount of time on water quality and sewage issues as we at Taylor Shellfish Co. work to protect water quality in shellfish growing areas.

    We faced a similar situation years ago in the towns of Edison and Blanchard adjacent to Samish Bay. Edison is a small rural community where sewers were potentially cost-prohibitive due to the small number of hookups.

    There was an enthusiastic group of Edison residents that formed the Edison Sewerage Committee with a tremendous we can resolve this spirit.

    Blanchard was a little more light-hearted but no less serious about finding a solution. They formed the Blanchard Poop Group. Taylor contributed some seed money to the groups for research and organizing efforts.

    I helped write a grant to secure a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that paid up to $23,000 per household if they qualified as low to moderate income to install new septic systems.

    Blanchard installed 29 new septic systems, 27 of which were paid for by the grant.

    Because the lot sizes in Edison were too small for new septic systems, they ended up installing what is referred to as a septic tank effluent pumping (STEP) system. Every residence in town got a new watertight septic tank, paid for with grant funds for qualified recipients.

    Edison installed sewers in the town with 2-inch pipe, which is possible when moving only liquids and far more cost effective than 12-inch lines and pumps to move solids. The 2-inch lines went to a gravel filter, ultraviolet sterilization and a drain field at the new elementary school, which also needed a new septic system.

    All that to say, Pierce County and Key Center leaders might benefit from a tour of Edison and connecting with folks who lead that effort.

    Bill Dewey, Director of Public Affairs

    Taylor Shellfish Co.

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    Letters to the editor - Keypennews

    Gov. Francis Farms finally get sewers … and the bill – Warwick Beacon - March 28, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    Its a bittersweet celebration for homeowners in the Phase III section of Governor Francis sewers. After years of waiting and about 18 months of torn up roads and earth moving equipment crossing the neighborhood, they finally have sewers and are capable of making connections.

    Then theres the matter of what started arriving in mailboxes last week the bill.

    The assessment for each property owner the total cost of the project divided by the number properties with service connection capability is $24,399.39. The assessment really doesnt come as a surprise. Even before streets were marked to indicate where gas and water lines were buried, assessments were projected at more than $20,000.

    It was the timing of the bills and the injustice of it all assessments for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Governor Francis sewers are substantially less that set off a brush fire of social media complaints and a press release from Mark Cardarelli.

    Cardarelli pointed out that the first of the annual installments a $1,700 payment reflecting a 3.418 percent annual interest rate to be charged on the unpaid principal for a term of 20 years was due in April. Observing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and how employees are being laid off, he wrote, many state and local leaders are looking into ways to mitigate the financial impact on local communities and the state at large

    That all changed quickly. Within hours of the press release being forwarded to the mayors office, the Beacon was informed that the mayors action to extend property tax and utility payments until June also applied to sewer assessments.

    A follow-up email from the mayors office on Wednesday reads, The notices that residents recently received in the mail are not bills. Rather, they are notice to ensure residents are aware of the entire cost of each homes sewer connection, and homeowners have up to 20 years to pay for the full assessment cost. The actual bills will be processed and mailed in mid-April (and Mayor Solomon has granted extensions for all tax deadlines).

    Thats of some consolation, although it doesnt lessen the overall amount of the assessment, which Cardarelli fears may now be etched in stone. Like Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur, Cardarelli finds it unfair that property owners should be paying for the repaving of streets at the conclusion of a sewer project when the city as a whole benefits from those roads. In addition, he believes National Grid, which took advantage of the open trenches to upgrade gas lines, is paying a portion of the repaving, although that credit isnt coming off the assessment.

    But instead of the city saying, Hey, we can reduce the cost (to the homeowner), they used that money elsewhere, said Cardarelli.

    Furthermore, after looking at the list of streets repaved last year, he believes the city is purposely avoiding projects in the ward even though those roads are not within the area of sewer construction. He said there was not a single city paid-for road repaving in Ward 1 last year.

    Delays by city government, delays in construction, arbitrary re-allocation to other projects of earmarked funds initially authorized for Governor Francis sewer work all threaten to leave Phase III residents with bills for 100 percent of the cost," Cardarelli writes.

    In response to the question of shared cost of repaving, the release from the mayors office reads: The have been questions as to whether National Grid contributed to the paving costs. It is important to note that the Rhode Island Utility Fair Share Roadway Repair Act was passed in July of 2019; with the passage of that Act, public utilities are now required to repave and repair the roadway to the satisfaction of the state or municipality controlling the road. However, at the time of Phase III of the Governor Francis Farms Sewer Project, public utilities were required by law to put a permanent patch in the road. National Grid did do this. The gas lines were installed knowing that the sewer project was going to happen, but Grid was not required at the time to pave half of the road.

    Additionally, it reads, There have also been questions regarding the cost of road paving in the project. The cost of road paving is a minor cost driver in this project, since the final paving cost makes up approximately nine percent of the project. The rest of the cost is for the installation of sewer pipe, manholes, forcemain, and a pumping station.

    Cardarelli manages a Facebook page with about 168 members to get out information on the sewer project. Questions are also posted on the page, which he hopes Earl Bond, director of the Warwick Sewer Authority, will answer.

    As for his personal situation, Cardarelli said he has a reasonably new septic system that is functional and he has no immediate plans to tie into the sewers. He notes that making the connection would be an additional $2,000 to $3,000 plus quarterly usage fees that are based on water consumption.

    Cardarelli finds the method of assessments where all property owners equally share the cost of a project fairer than the linear foot system it replaced several years ago as a result of the sewer review commission Ladouceur founded and chaired. That system was based on the linear footage of a property on a line and set periodically by the sewer authority. The commissions work also resulted in capping the interest on assessment payments at no more than 1.25 percent more than what the authority was able to borrow the money for and providing for a 30-year payment plan. The 30-year plan only applies in those cases where the authority is able to bond a project for 30 years. In the case of Governor Francis III, the authority obtained a 20-year note from the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank utilizing State Revolving Fund capital.

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    Gov. Francis Farms finally get sewers ... and the bill - Warwick Beacon

    No toilet paper? Be wary of alternatives that can clog your sewer, septic systems – TCPalm - March 25, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Shoppers worried about coronavirus are stocking up on toilet paper, hand sanitizer and supplies even though supply chain experts say there's no need. Storyful

    Bare shelves during a state of emergency is nothing new to Floridians.

    It's no surpriseface masks, disinfectants and hand sanitizers quickly sold out asthe coronaviruspandemic made its way around the globe to the U.S. and Florida.

    But ... toilet paper?

    The toilet paper aisle at the Stuart Walmart on March 10, 2020, was empty.(Photo: GIL SMART/TCPALM)

    A clinical psychologist told CNNpeople don't know how to interpret the coronavirus' threat, sosome resort to extremes, some over-prepare and some feel a little sense of control over the situation if they stock up on essentials.

    Despite signs limiting shoppers to two packages of bath tissue per person, there wasnt a square to be found at the Stuart Walmart Tuesday.

    So, just in case you're self-quarantined without a single roll in sight, here's what ourancestors used towipe their backsides with before toilet paper was invented.

    To provide our community with important public safety information, our newsroom is making stories related to the coronavirus free to read. To support important local journalism like this, please consider becoming a digital subscriber.

    While the elimination process hasnt changed much over the years, what to clean up with certainly has.Initially, people used whatever was handy: Rocks, sticks, leaves, corncobs or even wood shavings.

    The creation of toilet paper, as we know it, is credited to the Chinese, who invented a "wrapping and padding material" known as paper in the 2nd century B.C., according to the 6th century, it was commonly used around China.

    The first modern form of toilet paper was made in 1391, created for the emperorand his family; each sheet was even perfumed. It was widely circulating by the 15th century.

    Mass production of thebathroom tissuedidn't start until the 1800s.

    Joseph C. Gayetty created the first commercially packaged toilet paperin 1857, which were flat, loose, sheets of paper. His first factory-made product was "The Therapeutic Paper medicated with aloe and his name printed on every sheet.

    The Scott Brothers took it a stepfurther in 1890, and toilet paper was on a roll literally and figuratively.

    In 1897,another company dominated the market after perforating, or putting a hole, through the roll.

    One sheet per wipe wasn't cutting it anymore. In 1942, St. Andrew's Paper Mill in England began selling the first two-ply toilet paper. And the design has pretty much remained the same eversince.

    Sponges: Were used in Roman times, Urban Survival reports.When people finished, they would wash the sponge with water and vinegar andreuse it later.

    Rocks:Smooth, flat, not-sharprocks were used for the "scrape method." The rock was washed in water before scraping again.

    Plant leaves:Still used today by many a hiker; just be careful it's not poisonous.

    Corn husks: Waspopular among American pioneersbecause so much corn was grown and harvested here.The leaves, when green, are soft and a good size for outhouse use. The husks can be soaked in water if too dried out.

    Catalogs:For many years, Americans used the readily available pages of the popular Sears catalog that came free in the mail and even had a handy hole in the corner to makeit easier to hangon a nail in the outhouse.

    Newspaper: An Australian newspaper printed eight blank pagesin its daily edition to combat the current toilet paper shortage. Just scrunch out the crunch by rubbing your fists together. But you have to throw it in the garbage not the toilet.

    Fabric: A rag,towel or any cloth will do old clothes, bed linens, handkerchiefs,etc. (And do we really need to tell you not to clog your sewer or septic system with this?)

    Napkins, tissues, paper towels,baby wipes,cotton balls, wrapping paper:These work, but you can't flush any of them either (unless you're lucky enough to find the flushable kind).They're made to be durable and not easily dissolve in water. Toss them in the garbage even dirty like many Third World countries do.

    Bidets or the shower:It's not too late to have one installed. A bidet is a small pipe with asprayer that hooks onto your toilet. You just need to towel dry, but fancier versions will even blow dry the area for you. If you don't want to spend the extra money, try using theshower or detachable shower head to clean off.

    Catie Wegman is a community reporter who also produces "Ask Catie," an occasional feature to find answers to your burning questions about anything and everything the more bizarre the better.Support her work with a TCPalm subscription.Contact her at or 772-221-4211 and follow her @Catie_Wegman on Twitter and @catiewegman1 on Facebook.

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    No toilet paper? Be wary of alternatives that can clog your sewer, septic systems - TCPalm

    CVS receipts and wet wipes as toilet paper? People are flushing all the wrong alternatives during coronavirus shortage – MarketWatch - March 25, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Overheard in the self-quarantine home office: my husbands virtual coworker has a solution for no toilet paper.

    Dryer sheets. He was kidding we think.

    Conan OBrien suggests using those notorious arm-length CVS receipts and for sure, bidets have never seemed smarter as preventing the spread of COVID-19 saps even the most personal resources.

    People lucky enough to have a gold mine of two-ply may not realize that the extra demand on the most important room in the house and hoarding for the sake of hoarding have led to ransacked paper-goods aisles in grocery stores, drugstores and big box chains. Creative hygiene is now an offshoot from the social distancing and work-from-home contingencies deemed necessary to slow the deadly new coronavirus pandemic. But theres a cost to this behavior: stress on home plumbing and public sewer systems.

    Read:Tennessee man sitting on almost 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer says hes doing a public service

    Even what passes as the next best thing to standard toilet paper, such as wet wipes sometimes labeled flushable, and increasingly snapped up from depleted baby departments as well as Kleenex, are getting picked over too. Their increased use isnt kind to the pipes either, say experts.

    Gus Kazek, an environmental engineer with wastewater consultancy Brown and Caldwell, who advises mostly Ohio municipalities, says the disposable wipe industry is misleading consumers because the wipes cannot biodegrade fast enough in water. The wipes get caught in sewer systems mesh screens meant to stop debris from making its way into treatment facilities and that means water cant easily get through either. Sometimes costly teams of scuba divers have to clear the blockage, an expense typically passed on through higher fees to residents.

    Heres what the experts advise as best practices to stay clean, healthy and smart about bathroom hygiene in these trying times.

    Dont squeeze out other shoppers. Households are panic buying toilet paper even though experts say it isnt necessary: the supply chain is working, they insist.

    When consumers hoard products and create larger-than-needed inventories at home, they tend to consume their way through those inventories at the usual rate. Thus, consumers dont need to resupply themselves for a longer period of time, and this allows inventory to rebuild back to normal levels at retail stores over the course of a few days or weeks, said Alan Erera, professor of supply chain engineering, operations research and transportation logistics at Georgia Tech. So when panic buying occurs, try to avoid the temptation to join the frenzy.

    Dont shame, either. Families are unsure how long their homes will be 24-7 stand-ins for business centers, schools, bars and restaurants. Restocked shelves also seem to be emptied as soon as theyre replenished.

    Considerable attention is on what individual households and organizations are doing wrong: buying the wrong things, following the wrong advice, spreading the wrong information. What we should rather focus on is the tremendous failure of our systems to address an unfolding crisis, writes Tricia Wachtendorf, a professor of sociology at the University of Delaware and director of its Disaster Research Center, in an opinion piece for MarketWatch.

    Opinion:Dont mock people for buying extra toilet paper theyre doing the best they can with inconsistent and sometimes wrong advice

    Expand your options. Toilet paper is still being made; the trick is finding it. Virtual shelves are picking up some of the slack from brick-and-mortar stores.

    Data technology firm Bloomreach gathered online sales data for common stockpile items from the week of March 8-14 from some 250 of its retailer customers and found that sales for toilet paper and paper towels increased 279% from the week prior. For anyone hesitant to leave their home at all, an AMZN, -0.78% 24-roll mega-sized family pack of Cottonelle sells for $25.18 and qualifies for free delivery for Prime members.

    The safest alternatives. Household pipes are only four inches in diameter at their widest. That means even cotton rounds, paper towels and too much toilet paper can bunch up and be problematic, says water and wastewater services company American Water Works Co. AWK, +7.74%.

    Whether the package says non-flushable, flushable or septic safe, it doesnt matter, the company says in a blog post. Do not flush. Wipes do not biodegrade quickly, are prone to getting stuck in drains and can potentially lead to a massive and expensive clog. The average cost of having your sewer main unclogged is $550.

    If youre really in a bind during the pandemic and dont quite have time to install a bidet, or Japans popular handheld water wand, an off-the-grid enthusiast suggests these toilet paper alternatives: the remaining cardboard roll; a washable cloth or sponge (no offense to ancient Romans, but single-use-only these days); newspaper; and sanitary napkins. None of these are flushable.

    There are many practices inside and outside the U.S. that might be particularly helpful right now. Water-filled vessels commonly known as lotas in Urdu or Hindi are pushed into service beside the commode for many Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, this column in the Chicago Sun-Times says. Filipinos, at least according to social-media posts, refer to a similar device as the tabo, Indonesians call it the gayung and Iranians have aftabehs.

    Habit-changing for the long run? Green-minded consumer experts say this extreme circumstance for bathroom behavior is as good a time as any to examine the role of convenient paper products in a smarter future.

    Even advocates, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, recognize the ease and hygienic qualities that toilet paper brings to the modern household. Rather, theyre pushing major manufacturers including Procter & Gamble PG, +0.25% , Kimberly-Clark KMB, +2.32% and Georgia-Pacific, for greater recycled materials use in toilet paper as each American uses nearly three rolls per week, on average.

    According to a calculator from the Environmental Paper Network, tissue products made from 100% recycled content have one-third the carbon footprint of those made from 100% virgin forest fiber.

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    CVS receipts and wet wipes as toilet paper? People are flushing all the wrong alternatives during coronavirus shortage - MarketWatch

    $3.37 million Kill Buck sewer project in need of grant funding – Olean Times Herald - February 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    GREAT VALLEY As plans for a potential sewer district project in Kill Buck continue coming together, the Great Valley Town Board recently held a second public hearing explaining more of the projects development and what is to come.

    The potential $3.37 million project would see a sewer system built on the north side of Route 417 from the Great Valley Creek east to Hardscrabble Road that would take the sewage, grind it up and pump it to a nearby Salamanca pump station.

    Weve been working for almost two years to get as much information as we can to go after as much grant money as we can to make this system feasible, Town Supervisor Dan Brown said.

    At the boards Feb. 10 meeting, Caleb Henning of MDA Engineers said they have spent several months preparing a report based on a study in the Kill Buck area for the project.

    We identified an area to study because of the failing septic systems and the need for a solution to address those problems, he said. The projects area includes about 100 homes and several businesses on Route 417 and portions of Kill Buck, Hardscrabble and Halsaver roads.

    Funding for the study only covered the portion of Kill Buck not located on Seneca Nation Territory primarily south of Route 417, Henning explained. He said a future project could include properties on Nation territory, but the report is only based on land off territory.

    The pipe could stay on the north side and one or two connections could be made to service everybody, he said. The study showed that much of the soil is not ideal for septic systems, which is why many are failing and would be difficult to replace, Henning said.

    The project would include laying pipe and hooking into the houses and businesses and installing a grinder pump at each property to process and move the sewage towards Salamanca to the pump station.

    The capital cost would be funded through a zero percent, 30-year loan, Henning said. Breaking that down, that comes up to an estimated first-year cost of $1,012 per year per user. Thats a very high cost, and thats not going to be feasible with only a zero percent loan. You still have to add operation and maintenance onto that.

    Once built, the project would cost about $61,200 a year to operate and maintain, Henning said, which would be divided among the property owners, in addition to the initial capital cost.

    It really ends up being $1,500 to $1,600 per year per user, which is some of the highest costs Ive ever seen in my experience, he said. Henning said a target charge would be about $950.

    The other two project alternatives MDA Engineers developed cost $3.5 million for a gravity collection system and $4.4 million for a septic tank collection system, Henning said.

    TO HELP OFFSET costs, the town board is pursuing some grants that could cover a large portion and lower the residents bills as much as possible.

    This report does identify a project that doesnt seem feasible, but it also gives a document to use to apply for funding to make it more cost-effective, he added.

    For the planning process, Catherine Rees, a water resources specialist with RCAP Solutions, said the town held meetings with Salamanca and Seneca Nation officials, communicated with the state Department of Housing, submitted the applications for preliminary planning and held a public hearing for the study.

    Last year there was a hearing that said youre looking to get money and the decision was made that you would spend it on the study, she said. This is the required second public hearing that says what is the result of that money you spent.

    During the preliminary design phase, Rees said the town selected MDA as its engineering firm, which developed the district boundary map for the project. She said those designs and the results of the study were sent to various entities including the Department of Agriculture, SHPO, SEQR and DEC as well as the Seneca Nation.

    Because youre so close to the Seneca Nation, my concern is if theres going to be tribal concerns, she said. You are staying off the reservation, but youre only across the road, so we dont know historically if there are any artifacts or anything theyd be concerned about.

    Now that the projects preliminary design process is nearly complete, Rees said the town will begin looking and applying for various funding sources. A major aspect of getting the funding will be an income survey, which had begun last year but with little feedback from households in the sewer district.

    There is one funding agency in particular if you want to even be eligible to apply, and it would be up to a million-dollar grant, we have to get a good response on this survey, she said.

    Rees said some additional funding applications are due in a few months, but without enough residents submitting the survey to RCAP Solutions, the town wont get the grants and the project costs wont be funded. A second mailing was sent out earlier this month, she said.

    This second round, we need more, Brown said. This is really dependent on the more income surveys (RCAP Solutions) gets back.

    Were looking to keep trying with all the funding sources until you can get to that level, and it might take a couple of years, she said. Until you get the funding, youre not going to go to final design.

    Henning said other options to offset cost include negotiating with the city of Salamanca to come up with a mutually agreeable treatment cost and bringing more homes and businesses into the district, particularly along Route 417.

    If the system is there, the potential for growth is much greater than what were seeing right now, Brown said.

    Henning said if the south side of Route 417 were to hook into the system in the future, the pipes would have enough capacity to handle the extra amount of sewer, and more property owners in the system would help pay for the costs.

    (Contact Salamanca Press editor Kellen Quigley at

    See more here:
    $3.37 million Kill Buck sewer project in need of grant funding - Olean Times Herald

    A better way to treat waste and reduce nitrogen – Cape Cod Times - February 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Jan. 20 My View encouraging the populace to "Support regional wastewater treatment plant" was really an infomercial. But No Sale.

    I urge readers to Google "Least costly passive nitrogen-reducing residential septic systems." There they will find a listing for Nitrex a proven system that reduces nitrogen levels between 87% and 97%, as tested on Cape Cod and in other parts of the country. A system for a three- to four-bedroom house with a life span of more than 50 years installed with a leaching field would cost between $22,000 and $30,000. It would also substantially reduce phosphorous and all other contaminants.

    Then, Googling "Best residential wastewater treatment systems to eliminate nitrogen," one finds a listing for a Norweco system by A.J. Foss, with nitrogen reductions of 87% and costing about the same.

    The writer noted that installing innovative alternative systems at each of the 10,000 homes causing much of Yarmouths pollution, at a cost of about $30,000 per home, would come to $300 million in one-time costs, good for at least 50 years. That's $100 million less than the $400 million initial estimate for the 40-year regional wastewater treatment plant planned for Yarmouth (a true savings).

    Wouldn't it make more sense to take the 0% state loans and create a financing plan for home and business property owners to borrow, and/or to pay for residents living near, at or below the poverty line, to install near-lifetime backyard systems that take care of the pollutants infiltration problem better than a main batch plant could, and have almost every property converted within 10 years while having infiltration reduced with every conversion and pay as you go?

    Or would we rather have: town water supply rates triple what they are now, as in Chatham? a sewer usage charge three times the water rate (as in the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority district around Boston)? a multithousand-dollar street sewer pipe connection fee? the cost of rerouting in-house waste pipe plumbing from going out to the backyard across the cellar floor to the street out front? the cost of capping over the old septic system out back or removing it entirely? praying till kingdom come that one town official's claim that "the project could be funded without raising property tax rates" pans out and holds true for 40-plus years? hoping the never-ending traffic tie-ups don't last long each time and that rescue teams can reach us in emergencies and get us to the hospital before it's too late?

    Wouldn't it be far better to immediately reduce the pollutant infiltration upon the first year, and time the residential property backyard conversions, instead of taking 10 years to put the batch plant and main trunk lines in place, with any substantial reduction of pollutant levels and improvement of the above-ground water and ecology taking 20 to 30 years from start? Perhaps the business development around town is declining because property, rental and tax costs are already too high. With little manufacturing on Cape, we will kill the goose that laid the golden egg on Cape: real estate (retirees moving here, the home improvement market, summer rentals).

    In 10 years we could be done, not 40; the waterways would clean and protected years sooner; housing would be more affordable for all residents (affordable towns and housing already being in short supply); and the ambiance and beauty of life on Cape would continue in an undisturbed, more affordable way. State lawsuit threats overboard home rule should apply in this case.

    Otherwise, the "Ironshop Rules" still apply: "Can do!"; "where there's a will, there's a way"; "your job is to make things better, not worse"; "you're paid to think!"; "the Golden Rules apply"; "teamwork"; and "no excuses, just results get it done, now!"

    Frank L. Montani, a former steelworker, lives in South Yarmouth. He has no financial stake in, or personal connection to, any of the systems mentioned.

    See the article here:
    A better way to treat waste and reduce nitrogen - Cape Cod Times

    Joyal: Great Bay cleanup could cost Dover hundreds of millions – Foster’s Daily Democrat - February 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    DOVER The draft Clean Water permit for the Great Bay Estuary from the Environmental Protection Agency could cost the city of Dover hundreds of millions of dollars to meet, City Manager Michael Joyal told the City Council Wednesday.

    This is not just Dover, every community that has a wastewater plant that discharges into Great Bay will have to meet it, Joyal said during a workshop meeting of the City Council.

    In a change of approach from the past, the EPA is calling for a dozen communities around Great Bay to reduce the amounts of nitrogen going into the waters, rather than focusing on one community at a time.

    The permit allows the communities to keep nitrogen levels from their wastewater plants at current levels.

    But the draft permit then requires the communities follow a 23-year state plan that calls for a 45% reduction from so-called non-point source pollution, like stormwater runoff.

    Joyal said city staffers feel the amount of non-point nitrogen reduction the EPA is asking for is unnecessarily restrictive, not supported by science and may not be realistically achievable.

    He repeated when asked that reaching the permit levels over 20 years could cost Dover ratepayers and taxpayers hundreds of millions.

    John Storer, the citys Community Services Director, agreed, and added that if they are forced to comply with the EPAs new permit, city businesses could be facing substantial increases in their sewer costs.

    He estimated that Liberty Mutual could see an increase of $30,000 while Wentworth-Douglass Hospital could face a $50,000 increase.

    When we met with DES (the state Department of Environmental Services) and EPA they admitted we never said it was going to be easy, Storer said. They also suggested you have to get on to private property to reduce non-point nitrogen pollution.

    Joyal stated that could mean trying to compel private businesses to install advanced septic systems and regulate the way stormwater is handled on private property.

    He also noted the city has no way to regulate the amount of nitrogen that is used, for example, in fertilizers to try to cut down on nitrogen that ends up in Great Bay.

    We cant do any of that locally, that all has to be done by the state of New Hampshire, Joyal said.

    Both Joyal and Storer noted that Dover has made significant investments to its wastewater treatment plant, which has reduced the amount of nitrogen going into Great Bay by 70 percent since 2014.

    In addition, DES in 2014, 2016 and 2018 did not point to nitrogen as one of the causes of impairment to Great Bay, Joyal said.

    He and others encouraged residents and business owners to attend a public hearing the EPA is hosting on the proposed permit on Feb. 19.

    The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at DES office at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

    City Councilor John OConnor called the issue very serious, which could end up costing the city $200 million.

    I dont know what we would do, all the communities, because the financial impact, the potential impact to taxpayers ... if this comes to fruition, this is going to just blow the cap off all of that, he said.

    Original post:
    Joyal: Great Bay cleanup could cost Dover hundreds of millions - Foster's Daily Democrat

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