The town of Plympton was vindicated by a recent Superior Court decision to uphold the Town’s bylaws restricting mounded septic systems to house lots of five acres or more.
Plaintiffs Arlene O’Donnell, trustee of the Anderson Family Revocable Trust, Ernest M. Stevens, Trustee of the S&T Realty Trust, and Richard Springer, a local builder, brought suit against the town for “arbitrary and capricious” enforcement of Plympton’s Title V regulations.
Plympton requires a house lot of five acres or more to accommodate a “mounded system”. The lot under review was in fact three parcels, two that were not contiguous, that is they do not share a common border, and the total of both did not equal five acres. The third parcel was a strip of land across the backs of the two lots in between the lots under consideration, thereby connecting the two. With that 20-foot strip, the area of the “lot” could then total five acres.
Plympton’s Board of Health, Arthur Morin, Chairman, did not allow the permit for the system, citing regulations that “exceed the minimum requirements for subsurface disposal of sanitary sewage … provided by the state environmental code referred to as supplements to Title V of the State Environmental Code,” as the board is allowed to do.
Because Plympton has no public water or sewer system, all agricultural and industrial wastewaters are deposited into the same aquifer used for the Town’s drinking supply. The Court allowed that the Board of Health acted properly to protect the Town’s environmental resources and its drinking water supply by not allowing a lot configuration that would not support proper leaching of a septic system.
Nov. 1, 2021, Superior Court Justice William M White, Jr., issued the order. The Plaintiffs had 60 days to appeal the decision, and did not. The ruling stands in favor of Plympton.