WILTON — The Select Board approved a plan Tuesday to stop contaminants that residents suspect are flowing into Wilson Lake, possibly from a faulty septic tank.

Town officials will take four steps: do a dye test in the suspected septic tank to track the path it flows; contact a third party to conduct testing at multiple locations and determine if there is raw sewage and if it has E. coli or coliform in it; plug up a residual creek that is flowing into the lake with hay to prevent contamination; and continue pumping a sewage tank, regularly until it is replaced.

The third party to do testing and dye tracking was suggested by residents Robyn Raymond and Mark Collins who attended the meeting. Raymond said she reached out to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and was told “this was an emergency hazardous situation that needed immediate attention by the town of Wilton,” though the board did not confirm her claim.

The third-party testing will be conducted because of a dispute between resident Barry Hathaway and Water and Wastewater Superintendent Heinz Grossman.

Grossman said there was no E. coli or other toxicities in the samples taken.

However, Hathaway said in samplings he took and had tested by a chemist at the state Department of Health and Human Services in Augusta, there was a concerning level of E. coli and coliform.

Grossman disputes it, saying the “nasty looking stuff” found is not raw sewage and that Hathaway’s samples were “contaminated.”

“Why didn’t your people tell you the whole truth?” Hathaway asked. “Sewage is in the lake!” he said in a raised voice. “The test results were primarily raw sewage.”

The board concluded that though it’s unclear if the failed septic tank is at fault, the town should act on any potential “public health hazards” and put a stop to it.

Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin said the septic tank will be replaced by October.

In other business, the board authorized and directed the town attorney to “take any and all action including without limitation the filing of suit in state court” against Timothy Amerson for an illegal sign on his property on Route 2. The sign violates the town’s zoning ordinance, because commercial signs must be located within 1,000 feet of a business’ building. The board first raised the issue with Amerson’s sign in April.


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