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Catoctin Mt. Park Sewer Issues Reviewed

Tare E. Buck
Frederick News Post

Members of Catoctin Mountain Park service hashed out minor sewer issues with the town's leaders in a special workshop Tuesday night.

At the heart of the discussion was whether the national park or the neighboring state park (Cunningham Falls) are responsible for a sewer line that tics into the town's system and also whether an additional sewer connection can be provided to Verizon.

Verizon plans to place four wireless towers within the national park and three have already been built however the fourth and final tower is on hold until adequate sewage infrastructure is made available to the company.

Mel Poole, manager of Catoctin Mountain Park, said Tuesday that part of an agreement with the company requires that the park's existing septic field be made available to the company.

Mr. Poole estimated that the impact from this hookup would be negligible.

However, it is unclear whether mounting sewer system problems in the vicinity are under state or federal jurisdiction.

The town has not had adequate financial resources to be able to test parts of the gravity flow sewer line in this area. Meters randomly show major spikes in sewage inflow, particularly at night.

Town Commissioner Glenn Muth said that the federal park, on average. pumps about 50.000 gallons per day into the town's system during these spikes.

Until the line can be properly tested and fixed, Mayor Martin Burns said he is hesitant to authorize an additional connection.

Mr. Poole pledged that the park will work closely with the town to resolve any problems, and that the deal is likely to depend on how badly Verizon needs to place the remaining tower, planned for construction near the federal park's main offices.

The company has said in past communications with Mr. Poole that greater wireless phone service coverage within the park is the main impetus for constructing the fourth tower.

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