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Commissioners and Council hold Joint Work Session on Septic Issue in the County

February 11, 2019

Ken Jones septic sewerKen Jones from Jones Petrie Rafinski, a consulting presented information on the issue starting to pop-up with failing and failed septic systems. He addressed a special joint County Council and Commissioners work session Monday morning.

Jones said the average American home generates 150 to 310 gallons of wastewater per day.  He said all rural communities need to consider options when on-site treatment becomes unfeasible.  He said risks to health are real and risks to the drinking water supply are common.

The Water Task Force has been meeting for months and looked for areas of concern due to septic failures. They came up with a list including small towns including Donaldson, Tyner, Burr Oak and Inwood to name a few.  They also pin–pointed five mobile home parks in the county: Inwood, Maple Leaf, Queen Road, Creekside and Gatewood.  Other locations with major concerns are the lakes without sewers including: Lawrence, Myers, Cook, Mill Pond, Holm, Dixon, Kreighbaum, Flat, Eddy, Thomas, hawk, Mud and Latonka.  There are also 20 subdivisions without sewer connections across the county.

Jones told the joint work session that the life expectancy of a septic system is 20 to 25 year.

Jones said way to work on this issue is to consider a new utility, a Regional Sewage District.  While it is totally unfeasible to consider running sewer lines down every county road, he said a study would be done to determine a priority listing and work on top priority areas one at a time.  Jones said targeted sewer rates would be $75 to $85 monthly while there were be variety due to the type of system that would be needed.

To even begin a Regional Sewer District both the council and commissioners would have to file a joint petition with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

While no action was taken at the work session, Jones presented a lot of information that the council and commissioners want to review.  The information will also be shared with members of the Water Task Force and the discussions and information will continue.

Christine Stinson, head of the County Health Department said the Water Task Force will be meeting publicly to answer questions and hear comments from the public.

In the meantime, council members and the commissioners will continue to discuss and research the idea of a Regional sewer District.