Due to enhanced discussions at the state level regarding sewage, new rules, old rules, etc. and in light of the Lefferson Road project discussion, it was decided that the Board of Health and Health Commissioner would begin educating the public on sewage terminology, rules, laws, ordinances and legislation.
It is their position that in order to be an effective and knowledgeable Health Department, they need to know the status of our septic systems; how many there are in the city, (some people are unaware that they have septic systems) if they are functioning properly, their responsibility in the maintenance of them and if there are sewers available that may need tapping into. With the new rules expected, education can take place in small increments so as not to surprise or overwhelm the residents if and when any major changes occur.
At the March 8th Board of Health meeting it was approved that the Health Dept. would send out letters to give residents notice that inspections would be taking place this spring and allowing residents to call us with questions or concerns. Duly noted was the possible economic distress that residents may be experiencing so the Board decided NOT to increase the $40.00 fee for inspections (attached 2007 ordinance). This is an activity that could have and (and possibly should have) taken place annually.
The Health Dept. mailed 718 letters last week to homeowners with septic systems. We have received many phone calls in response to the letters with varied reactions.
- Two of the callers were very unhappy that they have to pay another charge from the government (there have been letters sent from FEMA regarding mandated 1000 flood insurance).
· One caller wondered if this was a charge to cover the sink hole due to the collapsed sewer line along the bike path on S. Main
· Others were curious and ok once given the explanation
· Others said they may refuse to pay
It is imperative to gather the above information in the advent that areas in the city become compromised by failing septic systems so that we can act expeditiously to correct the situation.
We will continue to answer and explain this activity. We will be available at all of my contact information sources and will have updated information readily available. Also we are willing to conduct a Town Hall meeting, attend any of the council scheduled Ward meetings or whatever is necessary to help get the information out.