LAKE GEORGE - Town municipal officials say they've determined the "mystery pipe" under several feet of soil in Battlefield Park that was in May delivering clear water into the town's sewer transmission system is actually a septic sewer pipe the state denied owning when it was dug up and disconnected in July.
A local citizen recently reported to town officials liquid was bubbling up along the edge of West Brook Road on the edge of Battlefield Park, and town Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Livingston responded to investigate, according to town Supervisor Frank McCoy.
The liquid - sanitary sewer effluent - was emerging from the ground in the same area where 10 days earlier town public works employees had capped several sewer laterals - including the mystery pipe - extending back into the Battlefield Park fields, which are owned by the state. At that time, merely clear water - in substantial quantity - was emanating from the mystery pipe, as it had in early May when the employees had sent a robotic video camera to crawl through the pipes. That effort was undertaken in part to detect any improper infiltration into the town's sewer mains.
The odor and consistency of the liquid confirmed the pipe, disconnected in mid-July, was carrying septic sewage rather than stormwater or groundwater, McCoy said. Soon after the leak was discovered, town employees placed hay bales at the site to soak up the sewage, Hometown Septic was called to suck up much of the spilled effluent, the mystery pipe was re-spliced into the town sewer line, and DEC officials were notified.
McCoy said town employees' initial investigation indicates the "mystery pipe" carries sewage away from Lake George Battlefield Campgrounds, operated by the state.
He said DEC officials assured him the town's response to the spill had been appropriate and no sewage would likely pollute the lake.