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News/Events - Meeting Minutes
Board of Health March 21, 2011
TOWN OF SCITUATE MASSACHUSETTS
OTHERS: Attorney John Dugan, Trustee of the Anna Beale Fairbanks Trust, Attorney Donald Nagle, School Board Member, Edward Tibbetts, David Drinkwater, Realtor, Grand Gables, Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Burek and abutter Steven Steinmetz of 166 Glades Road.
The Scituate Board of Health held a hearing on March 21, 2011 at the Scituate Town Hall located at 600 CJC Highway. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
Motion by Frank Lynch to accept Agenda and the meeting minutes of March 22, 2010, April 5, 2010 and July 12, 2010, seconded and approved unanimously.
The hearing on 172 Glades Road was read into the record. The following documents were presented to the Board members from Mr. Burek:
March 17, 2011 – DEP letter (in file)
Was approval for drinking water well ever given on this property? Approval of septic system was given by BOH department on June 12, 2008. Well clearly indicated on approved engineering (Cavanaro Consulting) drawing.
Mr. Lynch asked both parties whether they had, or wanted, an opportunity to explore possible compromises or relocations to solve the problem. Mr. Burek and Mr. Nagle declined and indicated that they wanted a decision by the Board.
Mr. Burek gave his chronological order of events from the date of purchase of property in 2002. He was aware of a water quality and pressure problems at that time. Budget constraints prohibited well installation at the time of the property build. Jim Boynton (builder), Leo Costello (general contractor), Ross Engineering and Cavanaro Consulting were all involved with this property from 2002 to 2008. Mr. Burek and his family moved into the home in 2005. They periodically had problems with water pressure. A fax dated April 17, 2008 from Ross Engineering showed possible well locations on Mr. Burek’s property. Well was drilled on May 8, 2008 and Mr. Burek pointed to a well completion report dated May 9, 2008. He said his driller told him that Scituate did not have a permit requirement. Mr. Burek pointed to a return receipt green card dated October 2, 2008. He said that he had sent in the well completion report and a plan showing the well. He said that he had the well tested in December 2008. The first test failed, the second dated December 16, 2008, passed. He then called the Water Department to shut off the water. He said the Department recently told him that he had to disconnect and that he had done so.
Mike Vazza asked if Mr. Burek had any correspondence from Ross Engineering he could provide to the Board? Mr. Burek said he didn’t think so, only telephone conversations.
Jennifer Sullivan asked, “Did you have any idea where you would put this well?” Mr. Burek, No. Must be shown on septic plan or on the building permit if well is to be installed. Health Department only received a copy of well drillers log after the installation. Typically, DEP will have records of all wells installed in the community. Scituate has no regulation requiring a permit for drinking water wells.
Russell Clark asked of Mr. Burek, “When was the house built?” In 2005. Michael Vazza asked, cost of well?” “Guess about $20,000.” “How many quotes did you get?” “One.” The well was drilled on May 8, 2008 and the well completion report was given to Ms. Sullivan on May 9, 2011.
The Health Department has no paperwork on file about this well. Water Department was contacted, who, in turn, disconnected back flow preventor and took out the water meter. Well testing was done on December 15, 2008 resulting in non-suitable drinking water. The test was repeated on December 16, 2008 and passed.
Mike Vazza, “Why did it take so long for the well to be used?” Mr. Burek answered, “It needed to be plumbed inside the house.”
Attorney Don Nagle stated that the issue about the well came up at a Conservation Commission proceeding. He said that he had presented the Board of Health’s approval of the septic system to the Commission and it showed irrigation well on Mr. Burek’s property. He said that the well was more than 25 feet from the proposed soil absorption system.
Mr. Nagle said that plans to develop Lot 2 had been underway for several years. The original engineering work for the septic system was done by Robert Daylor. He observed and documented the test pits on July 10, 2007. He also noted that there were numerous encroachments onto the property of Lot 2, such as railroad ties, sprinklers and gardens. A meeting took place at Mr. Burek’s home on March 26, 2008 to discuss the work and resolve the encroachment issues. Mr. Nagle made it clear at the meeting that his client would be applying for a Title 5 permit. The meeting did not result in any resolution. An application for a SDS was filed on April 14, 2008. On May 6, 2008 the Director of Public Health made initial comments to the application. Cavanaro Engineering had taken over the project and returned to the property on May 17, 2008 for a field survey. A well on Mr. Burek’s property was observed and noted on the plan. On June 2, 2008 the Director approved the application.
Attorney Nagle alleges “his clients find this is a spite well and it is offensive”, unaware of a simultaneous plan was on-going.
Mr. Burek stated that he was offended by the suggestion that this was a spite well because his family had planned on a well when they built the home. He also said that he had asked DEP to correct its records to reflect that he had a potable well and not irrigation well.
As Mr. Lynch noted this is a difficult decision – if there is a pre-existing potable well, it effectively precludes building on adjacent lot. If well was installed earlier than neighbor’s new Title 5 septic system Mr. Burek prevails, if this wasn’t the case, and the Title 5 system was approved first, then Lot 2 prevails. Mr. Lynch asked both parties whether they had any additional arguments or evidence that they wanted to present. Mr. Burek and Mr. Nagle both stated they had nothing more to offer.
Motion by Frank Lynch and seconded by Mike Vazza and voted unanimously:
1. The Board of Health’s June 2, 2008 approval of the Title 5 system on Lot 2 was made before there was a potable well on the Burek property and should stand,
Mr. Lynch proposed that written findings and an Order be prepared and executed by the Board in case any party decided to appeal. Mr. Lynch proposed that he would prepare a draft for the next meeting.
Motion by Frank Lynch to adjourn meeting at 8:45 p.m., seconded and approved unanimously.
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