50 towns face hike in septic waste charges
By ROGER AMSDEN
Franklin – Some 50 communities across the state that restrict the spreading of treated biosolids will start paying a 50 percent surcharge to dispose of septic waste at the state-operated wastewater treatment facility here starting in August.
The fee per 1,000 gallons will jump from $80 to $120 for those towns, according to Dick Flanders, director of the Winnipesaukee River Basin Program, a regional program that serves 10 Lakes Region towns and also accepts septage from about 90 communities across the state.
He said that the increase is due to higher costs incurred when treated material, known as sludge, has to disposed of by other means.
“Towns that have chosen to enact restrictions on land application reduce the land available for application and result in increased disposal costs,” said Flanders.
He said previously that the surcharge had applied to only six towns, but is now being extended to 44 other communities that have restrictions on the spreading of sludge that exceed those set by state rules.
The affected communities range from Rochester and Stratham in the southeastern part of the state, to Lancaster, Jefferson and Whitefield in the North Country, Ossipee in eastern part of the state, and Loudon, Newbury and Sutton in the central area.
Flanders said the Franklin treatment plant handled nearly 6 million gallons of septage in the last year, which is about 10 percent of all the septage disposed of at wastewater treatment facilities in the state.
He noted that the tipping fee does not include the fees charged to homeowners by septage haulers.
Septage from households within the 10 member communities are charged a tipping fee of $65 per 1,000 gallons, But three of the member towns, Tilton, Belmont and Northfield, will now pay $100 per 1,000 gallons.
Flanders said the Winnipesaukee River Basin Program “strongly encourages recycling and has enacted incentives to encourage those who use our services to support beneficial use practices.”