Auburn council to vote on watershed septic design updates Monday

An aerial check out of the Lake Auburn Pump Station off Turner Street in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Solar Journal file photograph

AUBURN — The Town Council will perform a initially examining on current septic specifications for the Lake Auburn watershed Monday, but a 2nd studying will be delayed to enable the Preparing Board to look at a simultaneous zoning change in response to advancement fears.

Before this month, the council signaled its aid for the septic design and style updates, which would make it possible for assets house owners to utilize option soils in developing septic techniques — a thing that has not been allowed in the watershed, but has also restricted development.

The concern has been aspect of a greater discussion in Auburn and Lewiston pertaining to variations in the watershed and how to best tackle h2o good quality challenges. Whilst officers and city workers have claimed the current expectations will final result in greater performing septic units, some have argued that the adjustments ought to be tied to improvement limits.

Quite a few have pointed to a recent lake examine, which involved modeling that predicted about 100 homes remaining developed below specific situations. Nonetheless, metropolis employees stated Friday that the metropolis has once again hired consultant FB Environmental to conduct new modeling centered on the proposed alterations, which include new phosphorus command specifications and a proposed shift to a 3-acre large amount minimum amount.

Eric Cousens, director of Preparing and Permitting, mentioned the city is “trying to capture the environmental benefit” of modifying to improved performing septic techniques and other suggestions from the report, but devoid of rising density.

He mentioned the town does not but have an estimate of the range of residences that could be built under the new policies, but claimed the council will see some estimates Monday. He stated employees is recommending the council delay a second reading till June to give FB Environmental time to conduct the new modeling.


Officers count on the variety to be significantly significantly less than the preliminary estimate of 100.

Suggestions from the Scheduling Board with regards to the septic adjustments also provided expanded h2o top quality checking, and in accordance to a council memo, “appropriate action if the checking method finds the drinking water high-quality degraded mainly because of progress.”

The proposal also calls for specifications that all current septic techniques are inspected at the stage of sale and consistently at five-calendar year intervals. But in accordance to Mayor Jason Levesque, an modification may be introduced that would involve present systems to be replaced less than the new standard at the stage of sale.

According to the memo, the council will vote on a resolution Monday to forward the a few-acre great deal bare minimum proposal to the Planning Board.

“Staff applauds the Arranging Board edits as a good improvement for the strengthening of watershed protections,” the memo states.

John Blais, deputy director of Arranging and Permitting, said in the memo that FB Environmental will draft a comprehensive description of how the proposed ordinance revisions will be included into the new modeling, and “will conduct the new product run and summarize the methodology and success in a brief memorandum to the metropolis of Auburn for a potential studying of the proposed adjustments.”


Auburn’s exertion to update septic criteria, as well as recent rezoning, led to a swift reaction from Lewiston, wherever officials have pressured Auburn to rethink plan adjustments that would affect water good quality.

H2o officers in Auburn reported this week they are consulting with lawful counsel next “demand letters” from Lewiston requesting a moratorium on any new enhancement in the watershed. The Lewiston Auburn Watershed Defense Fee board has identified as a exclusive meeting Monday afternoon to “discuss our responsibilities and authority with regard to Lewiston’s Letter of Demand dated March 31, 2022.”

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