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No decision yet on Barben Avenue sewer hookup

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WATERTOWN — The Watertown City Council took no action Monday on a petition by a Barben Avenue couple requesting a city sewer line hookup for their home.

Councilman Joseph M. Butler Jr. asked if council members could hold off on making a decision until he talked to another Barben Avenue resident who would be affected by a new sewer line.

Last fall, Peter J. and Libby S. Dephtereos requested a city sewer hookup for their home at 285 Barben Ave. because their septic system needs a new leachate field that would cost $5,000.

But neighbor Susan Favreau has told the city she has no interest in converting her septic tank to the city sewer system after a plumber estimated the cost at $7,000 to $8,000.

Unable to attend Monday night’s City Council meeting, Ms. Favreau emailed Councilwoman Teresa R. Macaluso that the sewer hookup would cause her “financial hardship.”

Under city code, the city would require her to connect with the city’s sewer line if it was installed in that area of Barben Avenue.

Mr. Dephtereos said recently that he will have to replace a leach field for the septic system if the city does not agree to give the couple a city sewer hookup.

City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk projected the sewer hookup would cost $74,000 if it includes lateral lines directly to the Dephtereos’ home and to their neighbor’s property at 282 Barben Ave.

If the hookup includes only the sewer line along the street, the cost would be about $52,000, he said. The money would come out of the sewer fund.

The city’s engineering firm believes as many as 140 homes throughout the city still have septic tanks.

The majority of the septic tanks, normally associated with more rural areas, are in the Sand Flats, an area on the west end between Arsenal and Coffeen streets with some of the oldest homes in the city.

Septic tanks also result from houses being built farther out years after the road was built, Mr. Hauk has said. Some properties may be too far from a sewer line.

There also have been instances in which properties could have gained access to city sewers but homeowners decided against hooking into it.

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