NORWAY — Following several months of discussion, the Board of Selectmen has agreed to try to resolve a septic problem with a resident on Salinitas Drive that could potentially affect neighboring well water systems.

Edward Lyons of 11 Salinitas Drive met with the board Thursday night to ask that they “do the right thing” and help pay for a new septic system that has failed on his property. Lyons alleges the system was improperly inspected by Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Van Decker in 2006 when it was installed and because of that, he must now come up with some $24,000 to put in a new system.

According to Lyons, Van Decker failed to notice that a baffle had not been placed in the system, which eventually led to effluent leaching out in his field and through his house. Additionally, he states that several inspections by state officials also showed the system had other code violations, including a septic tank that is lower than allowed.

The septic system is on a small aquifer that leads down across Route 118 to Lake Pennesseewassee, Lyons said.

Lyons has asked the board since last August to pay for a new septic system, but based on Town Manager David Holt’s report that Van Decker made the inspection and even tried to help Lyons by cleaning out his tank and installing a baffle last summer, the board has been reluctant to take further action.

Holt said the town attempts to find ways to help people in this type of situation, and had suggested to the Lyonses that he apply for state funding, but they have declined, saying they did not want a lien placed on their house for something they felt was the responsibility of the town.

Holt said he could not make a determination on whether Van Decker missed the possibility that the tank was not properly placed or a baffle had not been installed, but did say that Van Decker said he inspected the tank with the cover off it three years ago. Van Decker said in a report dated Sept. 5, 2009, that he inspected and approved the system before it was covered in 2006. He said he could not remember if a baffle was on the system.

While Selectman Russ Newcomb said he was concerned about contributing any money toward the project without any assurance of recovering at least some of the money, both parties agreed that a first step would be for Lyons to apply for the state program money and see what was available.

“Let’s go forward to work it out,” Selectman Chairman Bruce Cook told Lyons after Lyons agreed to apply to several state agencies for funding. The board agreed to look at possibly waiving local fees for septic work and working with Lyons on the financing and lien issues associated with putting a new septic system in.

Additionally, Holt said he and Van Decker would look at the system to see what is causing effluent to leak out on the property again. Lyons said a pipe has broken within the system.

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