Stepping Stones, the historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson in Katonah, NY was designed as a single family home and as such the water, septic system and driveway that were designed for it has a planned maximum capacity as a single family home. With the current and planned expansion of it use as a mecca for the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, the house, its plumbing, driveway and roads leading to it are not designed to handle a maximum of 200 visitors a day, much less the current cap of 750 visitors during the annual Family Groups Picnic held in June of every year for the last 60 years.
There have been renovations to the house, paid for with a $70,000 Historic Preservation Grant from the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation which replaced and repaired 28 windows, the roof, copper flashing and copper gutters. This was paid for by the State of New York despite the Stepping Stones Foundation having well over 7 million in assets. The garage that Bill Wilson built has been renovated to act as a Welcome Center with two unisex bathrooms, one being handicapped accessible, a meeting area and a coffee area. Due to the condition of the plumbing in the main house, the water has been turned off, meaning these are the only restroom facilities on the 8 acre property.
Stepping Stones is located over the Croton Watershed and near the Muscoot and Croton Reservoir supplying the water supply to New York City and the State expects the residents of Westchester county to be taxed and to pay for an estimated 10 million dollars a year for the next 10 years to protect this valuable resource for New York City. In keeping with this mandated requirement, all homes and businesses must have their septic tanks inspected every year and pumped every three years to protect this valuable watershed and the cost is to be paid for by the residents. One thing that should be noted is that a residential septic tank is designed for a single family unit, not an influx that could approach 200 visitors a day. Residential septic tanks simply are not designed for this capacity. Over use which the turning of Stepping Stones into the mecca they are planning will cause the septic tank to overflow and raw sewage will leak into the attached Leechfield contaminating the surrounding groundwater and most likely smell. Especially during the summer months when the use will be expanded.