Scott and Jennifer Jacobs didn’t think twice when presented with the idea of replacing the antiquated cesspool at their 100-year-old “empty nester” home in the Town of Bolton with a small-scale wastewater treatment system … inside the house.
(On second thought, they say with a laugh, they might have mulled it over just a little.)
But the couple knew that Finkle Brook, which meanders along the rear of their property about a mile from Lake George, is one of the main tributaries feeding the Lake, and any nutrients and contaminants from wastewater and stormwater entering the Brook inevitably end up there, contributing to the risk of Harmful Algal Blooms and other water quality problems.
They were determined to find a treatment system that would safeguard the future of the Lake — and the many memories they plan to make there, swimming and tubing on the clean, clear waters with their new grandson, Aiden.
“Jennifer and I don’t live in the high-rent district, but we still have a responsibility to protect our property and the Lake.” –Scooter Jacobs
“There was no way to put a traditional septic system in that would be right for how close we are to the Brook,” says Scott, more widely known around the Lake as “Scooter” in his longtime role as service manager for FR Smith & Sons Marina.
After considerable research, engineer Tom Jarrett of Jarrett Engineers in Glens Falls recommended an innovative Busse small-scale wastewater treatment system that is installed in a home’s basement rather than buried in the soil and uses advanced microfiltration membranes to treat toilet, sink and shower water to rainwater quality before discharge. The system engineered for Scooter and Jennifer’s two-bedroom home consists of three fully enclosed stainless steel tanks, each about the size of a washing machine. They say it’s odor-free, quiet and has had no noticeable impact on their electricity bill.
“This was, without a doubt, a home run, a total solution,” Scooter says.
“Jennifer and I don’t live in the high-rent district,” he adds, “but we still have a responsibility to protect our property and the Lake.” Like many others, he notes, both he and his wife’s jobs are largely dependent on a healthy Lake George and Lake-based economy. Jennifer works as a teller at TD Bank in Bolton Landing.
Scooter notes that Lake George experienced its first Harmful Algal Bloom last year and has had a persistent problem of beach closures due to elevated E. coli levels. “If the Lake’s water quality turns upside down,” he says, “it’s not good for homeowners, for businesses, for the community, for employment opportunities, for anyone. We better take note now.”
“Without the help of property owners, the mission of trying to get the Lake cleaned up is going to fail.”
Learn how to keep your septic system working properly for the protection of Lake George by visiting SafeSepticSystems.org. While there, click on “Financing” to see how Adirondack Trust Company and Glens Falls National Bank are partnering with the LGA to help make system repair and replacement affordable with no/low-interest loans.
Read more stories of your neighbors leading by example.