Awhile back, I asked folks if they wanted a revolution in watershed care.
Will they want 21st century sewers and/or alternatives along our magnificent fresh waterways?
The St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and their tributaries deserve treasuring and conserving now.
It’s not a revolution to expect swimmable waters and potable wells.
It is imminently important, though, to deal with the high water’s effect on these swimmable and potable waters.
We need to find ways to safeguard our watershed.
High water has brought this issue to the forefront. I’ve already requested the town of Clayton revisit the creation of sewer district(s), including my home area.
There are numerous septic systems compromised, wastewater untreated from seasonal as well as year-round residences.
Our wells and waters are in jeopardy. But there may be an alternative.
And I’ve requested the Jefferson County legislators, Development Authority of the North Country and Jefferson County Public Health to provide guidance, support direction toward septic and well safeguards, especially if townships get involved.
And I’ve also asked state Assemblyman Mark Walczyk and Sen. Patty Ritchie.
We’ll need their help, however this plays out.
And just to be transparent, the state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 6 has been included.
Clean, safe freshwater is paramount.
The alternative beyond sewers may be right in our geologic and hydrologic backyard, so to speak.
In Onondaga County, residents have an authority that monitors and administers waters used by the city of Syracuse.
The Onondaga County Water Authority has a very fine track record for maintaining clean water.
Among its abilities are annual septic inspections along Skaneateles and three more lake areas within its jurisdiction.
I’ve requested Jefferson County to seriously consider designing our own water authority.
This may more easily address mainland and island wastewater compliance needs.
Some very fine new technologies are out there that could revolutionize septic including those on rock.
Save the River, the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, to this end hopes to soon publish an updated version of a handbook regarding wastewater methods.
None of this comes by writing a simple letter to the editor.
Time, money and commitment to a healthy environment now and for the future depend on our effort today, tomorrow and in the future.
Locally, we’re lacking in wastewater treatment and care.
We can do better.
Please discuss this with your families, neighbors, towns and county.
Consider how our wastewater treatment is doing.
Can it be improved?
Can we meet the costs?
It may be coming soon to a township near you.
Resiliency in a time of high water can be addressed.
Janet M. Burrows