OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme has adopted a program to monitor all residential and commercial septic systems in the municipality using software that will track whether users are complying with a town ordinance requiring a pump-out not less than once every seven years.
Scott Carmody, president of Carmody Software, Inc. in Palm Bay, Florida, was in town hall Monday and Tuesday to offer training to septic service providers and municipal staff in towns that use his software, including Brookfield, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Westbrook as well as the Connecticut River Area Health District.
Each town’s data can be found on www.septicsearch.com, including information by property and owner.
According to the data, Old Lyme has 4,489 properties with septic systems on file, of which 4,406 have been serviced, adding up to 33,848 service events from 2001 to the present and 35,213,687 gallons of effluent that have been tracked. The data includes when the next pump-out is due and will eventually show where septic service company disposed of the waste. Other data that will be added include the estimated tank size, the tank level before the pump-out, whether the outlet and inlet baffles were satisfactory and the scum and sludge levels, among other information.
The Town of Old Lyme paid about $3,500 to set up the system and will pay an ongoing monthly fee of $299, said Carmody. First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder did not return a call to confirm the dollar amounts.
Old Lyme’s Water Pollution Control Authority clerk, Jennifer Datum, who was among those at the training on Tuesday, said she was getting up to speed on how the software works.
Carmody said tracking data septic systems using his software has resulted in decreased nitrogen levels in Barnstable County in Massachusetts and in counties in Florida.
He explained that it was important to look at the data when considering sewers as a replacement for septic systems.
“In some areas sewers are a necessary solution, but it’s not always the solution. My whole thing is here are your numbers, where is your proof?” he said. “It’s not the solution but it’s part of the solution and it’s going to help us get data and help us understand what’s going on.”
The site also includes a “Household Nitrogen Load & Reduction Calculator” that estimates the amount of nitrogen generated by households, and which calculates the output of nitrogen from both functional and dysfunctional systems.