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HARVARD — The installation of a new, improved and expanded septic system at Fruitlands Museums, a work in progress since last year, has resurfaced with blooming crocuses and other signs of spring.

Some neighbors are upset about the project, which they see as an obvious prelude to an expansion of the function facilities at Fruitlands. Although such plans may be in the works, details have not been aired to public yet.

That situation could change soon, however. Fruitlands has a date with the Zoning Board of Appeals on April 12, when it will review the museums’ application for a special permit.

In the meantime, Mark Szela, of the local civil engineering firm Goldsmith Prest and Ringwall, which designed the system and is overseeing its installation, came to the Board of Health meeting April 11 to update the board on the septic system project. Construction was suspended over the winter, when the ground was frozen, he said, and has now started up again. The work should be completed by May or June.

The current septic system, installed in the 1970’s, meets the criteria for a four-bedroom home, at 3,500 gallons of use per day. The new, three-phase system lays a much larger footprint on the landscape, albeit underground. Right now, with mounds of earth overturned, heavy equipment on the job and loads of fill trucked in, the size and scope of the project is quite visible on site as well as the site plans.

Getting down to specifics, Szela described the job to date. Work resumed about three weeks ago with the laying of the pipework, which the contractor said should take a week. The new tanks are in, too, and the old ones are being pumped out and disconnected.

The system will operate on a three-phase power system that Szela said should be up and running soon, likely by next month, with the possible exception of the museum building with a restroom that utilizes an uphill pumping system.

”There is still a lot of work to do,” he said.

Board members agreed it was about time they were updated. In fact, they said the engineer’s visit was overdue.

According to Chairman Thomas Phillipou and board Sanitarian Ira Grossman, of the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, if Fruitlands hadn’t made the first move, they would have.

In addition to the technical data, Grossman called for a current list of planned functions and events and said Fruitlands’ function capacity was still limited to 40 seats under the existing permit. Szela didn’t have a list, but said he would ask the events’ planners at Fruitlands to fax one over. Grossman reiterated that the list was key to any event going forward.

”They still don’t have a liquor license, which they can’t get without 100-seat approval,” he said. The reference is to a caveat in a town bylaw that governs the serving of alcoholic beverages at permanent facilities in town. Established two years ago, the voter-approved bylaw accepts provisions in the state liquor laws and ended Harvard’s longtime status as a dry town. Among other provisions, the law states that, to serve alcoholic beverages on site, facilities must be permanent and seat at least 100 people.

Given that the museums’ plans, whatever they may be, seem to be progressing fast, Phillipou said the board intended to be proactive and would send a letter to Fruitlands that reiterates a previous agreement, which states that event schedules must be submitted before, not after, plans are in place.