Comments Regarding
Sewer Extension...
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REMINDER:  Your help is needed in support of Commissioner Ransom’s Ordinance 04-37.  If passed by a majority vote from 3 of our Commissioners, it will require developers to mitigate for school capacity when an impacted school reaches 100% of capacity – instead of the current 120% of capacity.


If you were not able to attend the 8/26 Public Meeting on the Route 8 sewer extension issue, it was taped by the County. If you would like to see it but are unable to watch it then, let us know and we will try to get a tape (or dvd) for you.

Following are some comments, letters we’ve received regarding Sewer Plant Expansion.

And Linda says….,

(Commissioner) Nemo states, "....We're not going to rush this."   (Yet) Paragraph 10, (of the news article in the Capital), states bids are expected to go out in September with construction possibly starting as early as November....................guess I'm "stuck on stupid" ... again. 

August 31, 2004
Comments to QAC Commissioners
From:  Mary Kerr,  Stevensville, Md. 

Re:  Expansion of the Sewer Plant

The argument is being made that there are failing septic systems on Kent Island and that these failing systems present a threat to the health of the residents and the health of the Bay.

Two solutions have been offered to correct this situation.  Solution #1 is to have public sewage.  Solution #2 is to require residents with failing septic systems to install holding tanks, which would involve large monthly maintenance fees.

The reality of this situation is not that we are simply discussing the pros and cons of one sewage system over another.  We are really discussing the future of Kent Island.

If the expansion of the sewage plant is approved, the next question becomes how it is going to be paid for.  And the answer to that question is that the sewage plant will need lots and lots and lots of new customers; that is new houses.  The more new houses that are built the less the cost will be to each individual homeowner.  Thus, it becomes very very clear...sewage expansion equals intensive new development. 

Once we recognize that public sewage equals intense development, we realize that we are really talking about serious environmental consequences, serious traffic problems, serious emergency service problems and serious fiscal problems.

I would ask that our Commissioners and Department of Public Works staff have the creativity and imagination to look beyond a one size fits all solution to the problem of failing septic systems.  Surly the future of our Island is worth the time and energy to look outside the box in terms of solutions.  What about having the graywater go into a drain field and the human waste into a holding tank?  What about the required installation and use of compost toilets in homes with problems?   Obviously, I am not an expert on wastewater management, and maybe my suggestions are not sensible.  But it is impossible for me to believe that a group of professional experts in this area could not come up with individual solutions to these septic failure problems.  It seems to me that we need to approach this on a case by case basis, simply because the stakes are so high.

Commissioners, I am pleading with you, honor the verbal and written commitments that you have made regarding you responsibilities to be good stewards of our community.  I will end by asking you to have the political will to vote to honor that stewardship and to have at the core of your consideration the well being of Kent Island and its citizens.   In my opinion, the day that sewage expansion is approved is the day the Kent Island, as we know and love it, will begin to cease to exist.

Letter to the Editor
Sewer Meeting of August 26, 2004

I went to the August 26 sewer meeting having three objections:

  (1) the county could force homeowners to pay up to $40,000 for sewer and water hookups, 

  (2) sewer expansion would ignite an explosive growth of new housing, 

  (3) large sewer plants pollute the bay more than septic systems do.  The Sewer Lobby in the county bureaucracy refuted none of these three objections. 

The county essentially agreed with objection (1) with a slide showing an estimated assessment of $40,000 per household.

Does adding 3000 units to an existing 2000 homes sound like explosive growth?  From county figures of 200 gallons per household, the proposed expansion of one million gallons would provide enough capacity for 5000 homes.  In the 11 K.I.developments proposed for sewers, there are 2000 existing houses which leaves a capacity for 3000 additional houses.  How long will that unused capacity remain unused?  Rest assured, every last drop of that capacity will be used in some way -- perhaps followed by a request for even more sewer capacity.

An approach to bay pollution is the nitrogen nutrient per gallon. The  county agreed that the nitrogen load per gallon in current sewer plant effluent and the load  for the flow directly leaving the septic tank is the same in parts per million.  However, the  septic load decreases before entering the bay.  Trees and other vegetation filter out the nitrogen nutrient.  This nitrogen acts as a natural fertilizer for the trees, and they just love it. 

The county also agreed that bacteria in the soil will degrade the nitrogen nutrient from septic systems.  However, the county claims that  the bacteria will release the nitrogen nutrient as nitrogen gas (gasp!) which joins the atmosphere and comes back to us with the rain (bad science).  Perhaps the county experts are not aware that  the atmosphere is already 78% nitrogen gas -- which is  completely harmless as pollution.

By way of threats, the Sewer Lobby has the holding tank threat and the health threat  Citizens must do exactly as the Sewer Lobby dictates or the lobby will put holding tanks on your property, charge you $2600 to $4600 for the installation of the tanks, and charge you an additional $500.00 a month for emptying.  The Sewer Lobby predicts dire health problems, but they have not documented a single case of sickness traceable to a septic system..

Bad math enters into the cost assessment.  All costs for the sewer plant expansion and the eight miles of the main sewer line is charged to the 765 homeowners of Kent Island Estates and Romancoke.  No charges for the expansion and the main line were indicated for the other nine developments slated for sewer by the county.  Are they getting a relatively free ride on the backs on the initial hookups?

My conclusion from this meeting is that the Sewer Lobby in the entrenched bureaucracy wants sewer expansion no matter what the voters want.

Wallace Parr

Read More Comments Regarding The Sewer Expansion

Sewer extension raises questions  By JULIA HOCKENBERRY, For The Capital 

State official says QA's can deny sewer service to undeveloped lots on Route 8  (mail to this address goes to all 5 Commissioners)

KIDL Web Guy Says:  Write to our Commissioners!  QAC Voter's Guide Lists Campaign Promises  |  |

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