LAKEGEORGE-The gas station with a failing septic system that's been leaking sewage onto an adjacent property and angering the landowner, will have to undertake upgrades to continue operating, according to state and town officials.
State Health Department Engineer Mike Shaw, along with Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy, acting as a member of the town Consolidated Board of Health, and Lake George Code Enforcement officer Rob Hickey, inspected the Exit 23 Mobil station/Dunkin' Donuts store June 17. They found the septic system to be backed up, with a distribution box for the septic system full of stagnant sewage. The gas station is located just south of Warrensburg.
McCoy said the town board of health would be requiring the Mobil station owners to enact temporary remedies suggested last week by Mobil's engineer, Thomas Andress. These upgrades include installing new low-volume flush toilets, a waterless urinal, low-flow faucets with automatic shutoff, and erecting up signs that urge people using the rest rooms to follow water-conservation procedures.
Already, the Mobil station owners have been told by the state Health Department to inspect the septic system daily, and pump out any excess effluent if necessary. McCoy said Monday, June 20 that 1,500 gallons had been pumped out of Mobil's septic system on Jan. 17, followed by 500 more gallons the next day.
Also, the station's nearby drinking-water well must be tested every two weeks by authorities. So far, the well has tested negative for the presence of coliform bacteria, although the well is located within 120 feet of the septic outflows - too close to meet state safety standards.
McCoy said such mandated tests and upgrades were temporary, while the town board establishes a permanent solution, likely the construction of a municipal sewer collection system to handle the businesses along Rte. 9 near Northway Exit 23.
Not long after the sewage leak became public in early June, the owner of the station took action to divert sewage from the station from flowing into the rear half of the station's septic system, which had been leaking raw sewage out a bank behind the station onto the property of Lazy River Farms, a greenhouse operation.
Angered over the lack of immediate action by state authorities over the sewage running onto his property, Tom Hughes, owner of Lazy River Farms, had erected signs along Rte. 9 on his property next to the Mobil station drawing public attention to the stench from the effluent. The large hand-drawn signs proclaimed potential health hazards of the sewage and the lack of remediation by the state. The signs disappeared just days after Hughes set them up. Monday, Hughes said he was wary that a permanent fix would be too far into the future.
"I objected last year, and a temporary fix was suggested, it didn't solve the problem, and it may ultimately fail again this year," he said. "Also, it may take two years or more for a municipal system to be in place."
Constructing a town sewer main may occur sooner, however, if plans materialize for Price Chopper to locate a new store nearby off Rte. 9 on Prosser Road, as reported in the Jan. 6 issue of the Adirondack Journal.
Frank McCoy said this week that if plans go forward for Price Chopper to build on Prosser Road, the town would establish a local sewer district and construct sewer transmission lines that would carry the sewage into the town of Warrensburg's mains, for treatment at their existing open-lagoon facility. Warrensburg had their treatment plant inspected this spring, and engineers reported it could handle the extra flow.
McCoy said Monday that the developer of the property, Barry Feinman of Vanguard Fine Real Estate of Guilderland, would likely be making an announcement concerning the plans for the grocery store as soon as mid-July.
A call to the owner of Exit 23 Mobil, Christopher King, was not returned as of Tuesday morning.