09/16/04 — Health Department now offering to mark septic tank sites

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Health Department now offering to mark septic tank sites

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on September 16, 2004 1:59 PM

The Wayne County Health Department wants to offer a new service for home and business owners needing to find their septic systems.

The board will recommend a proposal to the county commissioners from the county Department of Environmental Health that would allow it to visit sites where the location of the septic system is unknown and mark it with flags. Homeowners planning on building an addition to their home will then know where the system is, which will prevent them from building anything on top of the system.

"I see it as a positive thing," said Health Director James Roosen.

Several people have contacted the Health Department asking if it provided the service, which it did not. The Wayne County Board of Health has expressed some concern with liability and whether the department has enough people to provide the service.

Roosen said the department would be covered by the county's insurance policy. Kevin Whitley with the county Department of Environmental Health said the department's schedule would place the most important jobs first and that they have enough people to offer the service.

The department would charge a $50 fee for the service, which mainly pays for the time, transportation and paperwork that must be done. Department officials would visit the site, use a map to find the system and then probe the system to find its exact location.

They would place a flag in the ground where the system is and a flag at the beginning and end of each septic line.

"I think there is a need for it," said Efton Sager, the county commissioners' representative on the board.

Department officials would coordinate with building inspectors to let them know that the system has been flagged. They would also tell inspectors whether the system is failing.

People would have the option of allowing the department to locate the system or use a private contractor, said Roosen.

Board members said they did not see any potential competition with private contractors.

The matter must go to the county commissioners before it can be approved.