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www.wmfd.com - Rural homeowners could face some unexpected costs for their septic systems under proposed new sewage treatment rules that go into effect for the state of Ohio Jan.1, 2014. }}" />

   
 
 
Proposed New Sewage Rules Come Under Fire

Story By: Brigitte Coles

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 3/27/2013

Rural homeowners could face some unexpected costs for their septic systems under proposed new sewage treatment rules that go into effect for the State of Ohio Jan. 1, 2014. 

The Mansfield-Ontario-Richland County Health Department held a meeting Tuesday about the hot issue.

Health department officials, real estate agents, township trustees, the county commissioners and area residents attended the meeting.

They are concerned that any septic system not in compliance with the proposed regulations modified in 2010 will be required to be replaced though the rules state homeowners are protected if the system is not causing a public health nuisance.

"Any system that was installed under permit prior to the effective date which is Jan. 1, 2014 will be grandfathered in as long as they do not create a public health nusiance. We don't want anyone to take the first thing they hear  that their system has to be replaced because its old because that is not true," Matt Work, Mansfield-Ontario-Richland County Health Department director of environmental health said.

"If it's a permitted sewer system put in by the health department and still working fine we're going to be ok with that," Work said.

Richland County Township Association president Mike Keith said other concerns include new fees that will be established for sewage treatment system operation permits.

"The annual permit could stretch from two years to five years. There are variables within this that are unknown and we aren't going to know what those are until they're imposed on us," Keith said.

Replacement alternatives for existing homeowners could include expensive mechanical septic systems costing between $12,000 to $20,000.

Another concern shared at that the meeting was that the rules will allow the state to enter private property without notice to the homeowner for inspection purposes.

"That is the general power of the board of health and has always been in place. We've always had the power to go on private property and open land areas to look at a nuisance. But our first course is always to contact the homeowner tell them why we're there and do everything we can to correct the problem," Work said.

Health commissioner Stan Saalman said he will share the concerns with state officials.

"I will pass on the local concerns to the director of the Ohio Department of Health and state legislators," Saalman said.

 For more information visit the Ohio Department of Health website http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/eh/sewage/sewage1.aspx.

   
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