CHINA — The resident who started a petition to repeal the shoreland septic system compliance program isn’t satisfied with a draft revision offered by Planning Board members.

Rick Hayden listened while board members spent an hour Tuesday evening reviewing proposed changes, based on information and suggestions from a panel of septic system designers and other experts who met with them in January. Hayden started the petition that led 225 China voters to ask selectmen to put a repeal question on the local ballot in June.

On Tuesday, Hayden said the revisions don’t reflect the petitioners’ concerns or the experts’ comments. He characterized the new draft as “the same thing, only more complicated” and as “way, way, way overkill,” and he said he would not vote for it.

The board, reluctant to see the entire program scrapped, has been working on a more moderate version to be offered as an alternative ballot question to the proposal to eliminate the program.

The program voters approved in 2009 requires property owners within 250 feet of China’s lakes to either document that their septic system meets current standards or have the system inspected by the end of 2014. Systems found to be working properly must be re-inspected every four years; those that are malfunctioning must be replaced.

The major change in the new draft is a division between systems installed before July 1, 1974, when there were no regulations at all, and those installed between July 1974 and Jan. 1, 1998, when current standards took effect.

Pre-1974 systems that are still functioning are to be re-inspected every five years until they fail or are replaced.

Those installed between 1974 and 1998, but with incomplete documentation, will be inspected every 10 years after the initial inspection. Those installed in that period with complete paperwork and as designed will need only the initial inspection.

The revised ordinance still would apply to all systems within 250 feet of a lake.

Hayden wants the ordinance to apply only to pre-1974 systems less than 100 feet from the water.

Acting board Chairman Milton Dudley thanked Hayden for his comments, but board members did not discuss them.


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