Septic Systems GIS Pilot Project for Small Towns -
   Town and Village of Candor


   Location: The Town and Village of Candor are in Tioga County, one of the "southern tier"
   counties of New York that border on Pennsylvania. The county is in the Upper
   Susquehanna Watershed, the Susquehanna River running east-west across the lower
   third of the county. The Town of Candor has a population of 5,317, of which 855 people
   live in the centrally-located Village.

   Water Supply: Village residents (and some town residents) are served by two high-yield
   public water supply wells screened in an unconfined aquifer.

   Source  Water Assessment: The New York State Department of Health completed a
   source water assessment of the village water supply, which noted that the wells were
   susceptible to contamination by pathogens and  nitrates. Neither village nor town are
   sewered, and residents use septic systems.

   Priority Contamination Threats

   Pathogens and nitrates from septic threats are the priority potential contamination
   threats to the water supplies.

   Local Team and Developing the Protection Plan

   Tioga County Planning Department developed this pilot project to test a potential
   mechanism for updating source water assessments.

   Management Measures

   The purpose of the project was to merge environmentally significant data with Candor's
   real property database in a geographic information system (GIS). The real property
   database is updated annually.

   The relevant portion of the county's digitized tax map was loaded into a personal data
   assistant (PDA) that was connected to a geographical positioning system (GPS) unit.
   Individual residences were visited by representatives of the planning department and
   were interviewed about the status and history of their septic system. The GPS unit
   located  the septic system within the appropriate tax-map parcel and the PDA recorded
   its location. Septic system information collected  from the homeowner was also entered
   into the PDA.

   Contingency Planning
Office of Water (4606M)                     816F10034                           January 2010

   All New York public water systems serving above 3300 people must currently have
   emergency response plans that can be used if there are source or distribution
   contamination issues.  These include alternate sources, interconnections with other
   public water systems, use of bottled water, use of water from certified bulk haulers that is
   guaranteed to meet drinking water standards, and in some cases, additional treatment is
   available.  In addition, there are requirements for all public water systems that suffer
   broken water mains or find contamination to notify their customers, and to boil water
   before use if appropriate.  Some water systems have additional contingency plans.

   Evaluating Program Results

   Information was successfully collected from close to 100 residences in both the Town
   and Village of Candor, and excellent GIS maps were obtained with color coding
   distinguishing, for example, septic systems that were problem-free from those with
   recurring problems. A number of hardware and software problems were encountered
   and successfully overcome; in addition, there were problems of access to the
   homeowners. These problems were discussed in the report, which will serve  as a very
   useful guide for parties planning similar projects.

   For further information, contact:
   Elaine Jardine
   County Planning Director
   Tioga County Department of Economic Development
   and Planning
Office of Water (4606M)                        816F10034                              January 2010