PEPPERELL — The Board of Health amended its recently approved well regulations this week by changing the 8-inch casing requirement to the more standard 6-inch casing size. The larger casing had been a contentious issue among well drillers doing business in Pepperell, including Skillings and Sons who had brought the issue to the attention of the board earlier this year.
The revision allowed Skillings representative James Morey to withdraw a variance request before the board asking for the use of a 6-inch casing for a well project at 136 South Road. A second variance for a reduced property line setback from 50 feet to 42 feet was granted. Morey was accompanied by Michael Pelletier of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and explained that the variance was necessary to allow for drilling in the “best spot” on the heavily wooded property.
Pelletier added that his department was resolving an issue for the homeowner who’s well became contaminated by road salt use in the area. A fracture in the well at a depth of 75 feet was cited as the source of contamination in the 500-foot well.
“The state actually has a program where if you are within so many feet of a state highway or road, and its proven that there is road salt, we will come in and replace the well,” explained Pelletier.
“The new well is closer to the road. For the uninitiated, that doesn’t make sense,” said board member John Marriner.
“When you’re in the bedrock well, the height of the aquifer is more important than being physically closer to the road than further away,” said Pelletier.
With additional support provided by the Nashoba Boards of Health, the variance was approved.
The board also approved two variances for 111 Townsend St. Engineer Kevin Ritchie, representing the home owner, explained that the variances would enable a 119 gallon per bedroom daily flow rather than the prescribed 150 gallon per day rate, as well as a sieve test rather than the standard perc test for Title V requirements.
The board took a tough stance on an ongoing failed septic issue at 141 Townsend St. Acting Chairman Phillip Durno expressed his displeasure with the owner’s failure to appear before the board.
“This started in 2005. They’re supposed to do something within two years of a failed system. They’re way over that. They’re not getting in touch with us. They’re not getting in touch with the Nashoba Boards of Health,” said Durno.
The board passed a motion to take the homeowner to court to resolve the matter.
A 75 South Road resident advised the board of her intent to seek a change in her septic permitting from a three-bedroom capacity to a four-bedroom capacity based on the existing design of the system. The home, originally built as a three-bedroom residence in 1978 had a septic system designed for a four-bedroom home at the time. A fourth bedroom was added to the dwelling in 1993, but the permit was never updated. The board will await results of soil testing before making a decision.