Advanced Technology Septic Systems — Lake Learning 1/20/18

About 20 residents gathered on Saturday, January 20th at the home of RBLPOA president Ina Cholst to learn about advanced technology septic systems. The discussion leaders were Debbie Mayers, the owner of Tri-State Pump & Septic Supply, and Mike Taub, from Ecoflo, a manufacturer of advanced septic systems. Cholst selected them to speak based on a recommendation by our lake manager, Fred Lubnow and on their extensive experience with lake communities.

Participants generally attended because of concerns about the quality of the lake water and the recognition that many septic systems around the lake were installed 40 to 50 years ago and are no longer functioning properly. There was agreement in the room that it is important for the community to learn about new septic approaches that offer more long-lasting ecological protection while still being cost-effective.

Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio attended the meeting and said that the Putnam County Health Department has not generally been open to new technology, preferring instead to see systems installed with which they have greater familiarity. With more education and a demonstration of interest by lake residents, however, he was hopeful their outlook could change. “They want to see a need, and the health of the lake is a paramount need,” said Oliverio.

There were two general options presented by Taub and Mayers. Owners whose septic tanks and leach fields are not yet failing, could purchase an Ecoflo coconut husk-based filter that is inserted between the tank and the septic fields. Adding an Ecoflow filter to an existing tank removes 99% of pollutants and significantly reduces the environmental burden on the lake. They said the filter costs about $6,000, with another $1,000 to $2,000 required for installation, depending on ground conditions. Oliverio thought there would be much less objection from county regulators to this more limited approach, which adds to, but leaves in place, the traditional elements of a septic system.

Owners whose septic tanks need replacement could consider purchasing an entire Ecoflo septic system “in a box.” This all-in-one unit includes both the tank and the filter. It measures about 8 feet by 12 feet and can be installed (if field conditions are normal) in a day.

There was an acknowledgement in the room that a clean, healthy lake would give all RBL homes greater market value. In addition, homes with updated septic systems would likely have greater market value than those whose systems are failing.  A comparison was made to houses with oil tanks buried in the ground.

The meeting concluded with Taub promising to meet with local county regulators, with the assistance of Sam Oliverio and the RBLPOA. If regulatory obstacles are resolved, RBLPOA will spread the word and will help arrange for interested residents who would like to explore installing advanced technology systems to meet with Mayers. Group discounts would be available if there are enough homeowners interested in the systems.

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Saturday, Jan 20, 2018, 10 am — Lake Learning

Sat, January 20, 2018 at 10 am; learn about advanced technology septic systems

As part of our Lake Learning winter series, RBLPOA is hosting a community conversation on new technology septic systems. Our speaker and discussion leader will be Debbie Mayers of Tri-State Pump & Septic, a company focused on advanced technology septic systems. Also present will by Mike Taub, an expert from Ecoflow, a company that makes the systems.

Several times during the winter season, the RBLPOA will host a morning gathering where we discuss different aspects of lake conservation with a special expert. We will talk over hot coffee and fresh bagels.

Outdated septic systems represent one of the greatest threats to our lake. Come hear what’s high-tech and state-of-the-art in the septic world. Learn how you can be part of the solution.

RSVP to if you would like to come.

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Pre-payment of 2018 property taxes — Dec. 28

Pre-payment of property taxes

Because of certain provisions of the new tax law, some RBL homeowners have asked whether they can pre-pay their 2018 property taxes before the end of 2017. Thank you to Putnam Valley Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio and Town Clerk Sherry Howard, who have worked hard to make pre-payment possible for those who wish to do so.

You can prepay Putnam Valley property taxes on one day only: Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in person or on line. Here’s how:

  1. The Town Clerk’s office, at 265 Oscawana Lake Rd, will be open on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, from 9 am – 4 pm only, for you to pre-pay your property taxes in person.
  2. You will be able to pre-pay your property taxes online using a check, credit card or PayPal, only on Dec. 28, 2017. Information will be available on the morning of Dec 28, by going to the Town’s website,, and clicking on the “Pay Taxes” box on the right side of the home page.

Please note that pre-payment of property taxes will not be an advantage to all taxpayers and that paying your taxes early does not guarantee that the Federal Government will accept the early payment as a deduction. Please consider your own tax situation carefully to see whether this is right for you.

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Derelict or abandoned boats 2017

Children’s Beach  [raw]


Shore Lane  [raw]


Moon Beach  [raw]


North Beach and Ferbers  [raw]

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2017 Roaring Brook Lake Holiday Party

The annual Roaring Brook Lake Holiday Party will be Sat, Dec 16, 7-10 pm at a neighbor’s home on the lake (details once you register). Enjoy a wonderful evening of celebration and good cheer.

Tickets are $10/person to cover spirits and sandwiches. In the spirit of the season, please also bring an appetizer or a dessert to share.

Capacity at our generous neighbor’s home is limited and you must register in advance to attend (no registration at the door). Once you register, you will receive the address and details. Register early! Don’t be left out.  Parking is limited. Please carpool.

Click below to pay for your ticket on line and reserve your place at this joyous evening celebrating our community.

Number of People
Names of attendees

The 2017 Roaring Brook Lake Holiday Party is sponsored jointly by the RBL PropertyOwner’s Association and the RBL Garden Club.

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Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB)

What are Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB)?

Algae are important to the lake ecosystem, and most species of algae are not harmful. Algal blooms occur when certain types of algae grow quickly in water, often in response to increases in nutrients and hot, dry, still weather conditions. Some species of algae (blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria) intermittently release toxins, harmful to the health of the environment, plants, animals, and people.

How do the toxins in HAB cause illness?

Rarely, there may be skin rashes or itching. Mostly, however, the toxins must be ingested to be a problem. Therefore, for the most part, it is safe to swim in areas of the lake that are clear.   But, be reasonable;  do not swim through algal bloom. Do not allow small children to play in shallow water that is not clear. Keep pets out of these areas.  Do not drink lake water. When in Doubt, Stay Out.

What can I do to decrease or prevent algal blooms?
Don’t add nutrients to the lake:

  • Use only phosphorus free fertilizers (middle number is zero) and use them sparingly
  • Plant a buffer zone of deep rooted grasses, shrubs, or natural vegetation at the shoreline.
  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped at least every 3 years.  Make repairs promptly and, if necessary, replace outdated or  ineffective systems
  • Use phosphate-free laundry and dishwashing soap
  • Compost or properly dispose of leaves, lawn clippings, garden waste, goose poop, etc. Not in the lake, please!

CSLAP monitoring, Roaring Brook Lake, and HAB documentation

For eight years, Roaring Brook Lake has participated in CSLAP, an intensive NY state lake monitoring program. One benefit of our participation in the program is our lake’s access to expertise and testing when a problem is suspected. At different times in past summers, residents have identified areas suspicious for HAB which have been sampled.

For more about toxic algae in Roaring Brook Lake, 2009-2017, click here


Photo Gallery:

Map of confirmed sites in NY state:

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Tomorrow, Sat, Oct 21: Special RBL District Meeting, 10 am

Special RBL District Meeting
with Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio
Saturday, Oct 21, 10 am,
Putnam Valley Town Hall,
265 Oscawana Lake Road

RBL Lake Manager Fred Lubnow presents
The State of Roaring Brook Lake: Past, Present, and Future

Fred will talk about previous studies of Roaring Brook Lake that have looked at plants, fish, micro-organisms, nutrients, and pollutants. Where was our lake in the past?  He’ll then review with us the results from the data that he collected in 2016 and 2017. Where is the lake now? And – special treat – he’ll give us a preview of the planned Spring 2018 Lake and Watershed Management Plan.  Where is Roaring Brook Lake heading and what we can do to improve conditions?


Checking out the lake plants in Roaring Brook Lake, June 2017. Couldn’t have been a nicer day!


Come. Bring an inquisitive mind–and your neighbors!

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Putnam County Hazardous Waste Collection  Oct. 7,  9:00 – 12:00 110 Old Route 6, Carmel

Hazardous Waste Collection

Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, October 7, from 9 am to 12 noon (rain or shine)  at 110 Old Route 6 in Carmel.  Pre-registration is required –call (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150.

Improper storage or disposal of hazardous waste poses a health risk to residents and their families. HHW Collection Day is an opportunity for Putnam residents to safely dispose of toxic materials such as: household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil-based paint (not latex), solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene, small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size), etc. For a more complete list of acceptable items, see “Special Wastes” under “Recycling” on the Green Putnam webpage at

Disposal items must be labeled and identifiable to be accepted. Items not accepted include: water-based paints (latex), used oil, lead-acid batteries, plastic bags, batteries, tires, electronic waste or any materials from commercial establishments. Materials packed into garbage or lawn bags will also not be accepted. Latex paints can be discarded by routine means, after they have been dried out.

Call early to reserve a spot. The Putnam County Department of Health number is (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150 for questions or to pre-register.

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