Lake Living

 

Whether you are a seasonal or a year-round resident at Swinging Bridge Lake, you may face some very different issues here in the "woods" vs. living in the city. For instance, you probably have well water and a septic system. You may be unfamiliar with the animals in this area such as deer, bears, skunk, fox, and more. Here you'll find some helpful information, links and resources for the safety and benefit of everyone – and for our environment. We will add more information as we come across it.

TRASH AND RECYCLING
Garbage and recyclables must be disposed of properly. It is illegal to burn household trash in New York, so it must go to the landfill. The Sullivan County Landfill & Recycling Center is located at 91 Landfill Drive in Monticello (off Hwy.42 just past the cemetery). This is the closest county transfer station to Swinging Bridge Lake and it is open Monday-Friday 7:45am-2:45pm and Saturday7:45am-12:00noon. Yes, Sullivan County recycles! So separate your recycling from your household trash. Their web site claims they do single stream recycling, but we still see separate roll-off containers for plastics & glass, paper, corrugated cardboard, newsprint, and garbage at this facility. Some residents bring their own trash and recycling here because it is more economical than hiring a trash service (i.e., Thompson Sanitation or Waste Management). The fee for disposing of one CLEAR 30 gal. bag of garbage is just $2.00 ($3.00 for a black/opaque bag). Disposing of recyclables is free. All recyclables must be separated from garbage. Any hazardous materials such as paint, solvents, pool chemicals, etc. can be dropped off in late September at an annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event. We usually announce those to members via email and the home page of this site. Interested in home composting? See link at right.

SEPTIC SYSTEMS (courtesy Arizona Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association) – This is a comprehensive look at septic systems, how they work and how to maintain them. Very good information.

POWER OUTAGES
From time-to-time, we experience power outages living here in Sullivan County. It can be a few seconds of interruption or in extreme cases, several days. Surge protection for computers, televisions and other equipment may be a good investment. Causes for power outages can be downed trees in high winds, thunderstorms, hurricanes, heavy snowfalls, ice storms, and faulty lines or equipment. If an extreme weather event is forecasted, you should be prepared for an outage just in case. Many homeowners have back-up electrical generators in case of a power outage. If you don't have a generator, here are things you can do to prepare.

Summer Power Outage Preparations

  1. Have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries. During long outages, NYSEG may distribute dry ice and bottled water and announcements are on the NYSEG web site, Sullivan County web site, and/or local radio stations.
  2. Have a cell phone, charged up and use it sparingly. Report your outage to NYSEG at 1-800-572-1131.
  3. Have flashlights and/or lanterns on hand for nighttime, along with extra batteries.
  4. Have a supply of bottled water on hand for drinking and personal hygiene.
  5. Fill buckets or other containers with water for flushing toilets. Your well is probably powered by electricity, so the toilet tank won't usually automatically refill.
  6. Don't open your refrigerator door unless necessary. If the outage lasts more than 6-8 hours, put all perishables into coolers with ice.

Winter Power Outage Preparations
Losing power in the winter can be more dangerous than summer because of the cold temperatures. If you don't have a fireplace or woodstove to help keep you warm, you may want to consider finding warm shelter elsewhere. Here are some preparations appropriate for winter power outages:

  1. Have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
  2. Have a cell phone, charged up and use it sparingly. Report your outage to NYSEG at 1-800-572-1131.
  3. Have flashlights and/or lanterns on hand for nighttime, along with extra batteries.
  4. Have a supply of bottled water on hand for drinking and personal hygiene.
  5. Fill buckets or other containers with water for flushing toilets. Your well is probably powered by electricity, so the toilet tank won't automatically refill.
  6. Don't open your refrigerator door unless necessary. If the outage lasts more than 6-8 hours, you can always keep frozen foods outside in a cooler (protected from animals).
  7. If you have hot water baseboard heating, you may want to drain the water from the system to prevent frozen pipes.

Excerpted from the NYSEG website: Please call 1-800-572-1131 to report any electricity emergency. Or you may report the outage HERE. For natural gas emergencies, please call 1.800.572.1121. Please remember: Stay away from downed power lines. Even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly. Also, stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring, outlets or natural gas service may pose a hazard.
When your power is out, we encourage you to notify us of the outage. If it’s available, an estimated restoration time specific to your location will be displayed once you enter your phone or account number.

An estimated restoration time is the time we expect power to be restored. Each estimated restoration time is determined after we complete a damage assessment. The time is based on our current knowledge of damage and it may change periodically if weather or other circumstances cause additional outages or if we locate previously unknown damage to our system. Please check back regularly or refresh the page for updates; however, for your location (your house or business address) the best estimate may be the one specific to your account.

BEARS live here too -- Please secure your garbage!
Sometimes, we unknowingly create food sources for bears (and other animals) that may attract them into close proximity to our homes and subsequently result in human-bear conflicts. The most common activities that can attract bears are feeding birds, cooking food outdoors, and improperly storing garbage. Most conflict scenarios can be resolved or minimized by removing or adequately securing whatever served to attract the bear.

If you leave garbage bags (or cans) outdoors for any length of time, you risk allowing bears to become 'food conditioned' (i.e., aggressively seek out human food). Habituated and food-conditioned bears are often responsible for human-bear conflicts, and these bears may become bolder in their efforts the longer they are successfully able to access human food without negative consequences.

If you place your garbage out for pick-up, do it as close to the pick-up time as possible. Bears have sharp claws, so plastic trash containers are not secure against bears. The best advice is to keep all garbage indoors until it's time for garbage pick-up or to take the garbage to the landfill. You may want to take in your bird feeders at night, too.

Skunks & Groundhogs
Both of these animals dig burrows and they seem to like to dig under sheds and porches where they have protection. One method to get rid of these critters is to wait until you see them leave the burrow and then fill in the entrance/hole with soil and rocks. Then lay down a large piece of metal wire mesh fencing (chicken wire would work) over the area and secure it with large, heavy rocks. They may try to dig nearby to reach their den, so you may have to watch and repeat the steps. Mothballs, soap, noise, urine and other homegrown remedies usually don't work. You could also call a pest removal company to trap the animal and take it away.

If you have any tried and true methods for discouraging deer and rabbits from digging or eating your garden or flowers, let us know. We would love to hear what works for you!

[Wild turkeys foraging for bugs along the side of the road. – Photo by Laurie Lawrence]