County commissioners say they will look into its ordinance that prohibits the use of septic tanks in some areas of the county after hearing concerns of local septic tank installers and developers during the board's regular meeting Jan. 10.
The county’s ordinance states that in a subdivision of 25 or more lots, septic tanks are not allowed and the development must have its own wastewater treatment plant, or connect to the county’s facility.
Burnsed said according to state law, anyone within 500 feet of the water line in South Bryan that originates at WaterWays Township and runs to the new middle school near Belfast River Road is required to hook into that water source.
But septic tank installers and developers want to know if they could install septic tanks in areas too far from the county’s water line.
Also, tapping into the water line carries a price tag of about $10,000 per house, which pays for future upgrades to the facility at WaterWays Township, hooking into that line and a future land application system for using treated wastewater to irrigate certain areas.
Because of the high cost, developers are interested in finding an alternative to hooking into the system, and Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said the commissioners are willing to look at different options.
“The commissioners agreed to take a look at that to see what areas of the county we could do septic tanks in more than 25 lots,” Burnsed said, noting it would be looked at on both ends of the county.
District 4 Commissioner Carter Infinger said the commission agreed to look at the ordinances to make sure they were fair to everyone.
“We’re going to make sure our ordinances are fair to everybody, but the main thing is to make sure our county moves in the right direction (for the future),” Infinger said.
Burnsed said a group of commissioners will look into the matter with the county engineer and see what’s done in other communities. He added it may take up to two or three meetings before a recommendation can be made.