Letter: No Factual Basis to Require Sewers at Hawk’s Nest


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To the Editor:

Cate Hewitt’s article regarding the Hawk’s Nest challenge to sewers is excellent. Her interview and quotes from Sandy Garvin make the situation quite clear. DEEP started this controversy by mandating sewers in all the beach communities without factual substantiation and data to support their contentions. Certainly, there are beach areas that will benefit from sewers, but not all, and Hawk’s nest is one where there is currently no justification.

When the former Director of Health, Vijay Sikand, made his statement that Hawk’s Nest had health issues and required sewers it was immediately challenged. My requests and others for Dr. Sikand to provide data to support his statement received no response and he was uncooperative. No one realized he was director of health because until issuing that statement, he had been basically invisible but collecting a salary. Persistence finally had him reveal that had he relied on certain reports and data supplied to him by the town sanitarian.

Further examination revealed that the data had been manipulated by the Sanitarian to bolster the case for sewers. He promptly resigned and Dr. Sikand was quickly replaced by Old Lyme joining the Ledge Light Health District which eliminated the director of health position.

The WPCA is continuing to monitor test wells and will do so monthly during the summer months. Test data to date has not indicated any significant problems with the groundwater. Their approach is rational and open as they post the actual test results, not a summation. They also seem to have a non-prejudicial attitude and the chairman, Richard Prendergast, is providing excellent leadership to ensure their decisions will be justifiable and based on factual data.

In conclusion, the only pressure for sewers in Hawk’s Nest over these past few years has come from the DEEP, Dr. Sikand and the former town sanitarian, in each case without a factual basis.
In the interest of full disclosure, I live in Hawk’s Nest, but my neighborhood is excluded from consideration for sewers. All of the lots in this neighborhood conform to current regulations for on-site septic systems and have had no septic related problems.

Steven A. Ross
Old Lyme, CT