Update – Bean Blossom Sewer Project

State Revolving Fund (SRF) Project Approvals – Supporting Documents

April 3, 2020. Brown County Democrat, Guest Opinion:  Bean Blossom sewer project: Delay warranted.” by Tim J. Clark

April 3, 2020. Brown County Democrat. Sewer report explained; Lake Lemon asks for service By Sara Clifford.

Feb 19, 2020.  Project Score Brown County WW Scoring REVISED 021920 Total Points

July 13, 2018. Supporting Letter – Brown County Health Department Brown County Health Department Letter 051418.   Documents the allegations, anecdotes, speculations, conjecture, and assumptions used to justify this project: 

    • 2,904 properties; 2002 require a septic system (69%)
    • Average build date  is 1960. ” This means the average age of septic systems is 58 years old.
    • The first septic code in effect in 1977 to 1990. “Based on this information it would be logical to conclude that the average septic system is 58 years old … and, it would only be fair to assume many may not be functioning as originally planned and may be failing …”
    • “In addition, I have attached documented history of water tests … and found detectable levels of E.  Coli in most bodies of water tested “

Jan 28, 2020. Brown County Democrat:  STREAM SAMPLING: Where’s the contamination coming from? By Sara Clifford.

    • ” Is E. coli found in local waterways coming from humans or from animals?  Short answer: We don’t know yet.”

Brown County Regional Sewer District (BSRSD) Project Documentation

  • Identification of Need:  BCRSD SRF Project Application Signed
    • A. IV. “A new STEP Collection System is proposed to correct violations caused by raw sewage discharge and non-operable on-site septic systems”
    • G. “This project will improve water quality of the nearby ditches and streams
    • I. “Eliminate human waste from nearby ditches and streams”
  • Preliminary Engineering Report PER for submittal 2.13.2020   Total pages: 432
    • 1.2.6  Water quality in the service areas will be improved
      with the installation of the proposed wastewater system, as current failing
      on-site septic systems that degrade the water quality will be eliminated.
    • 1.2.8 Socio-Economic Issues. There will be no negative effect on the economics or location of minority and/or low-income populations.
    • Open Space and Recreational Opportunities. The proposed project’s construction and operation will neither create nor destroy open space and recreational opportunities.
      • Note: They are asking for use of land that was donated to Parks and Recreation
    • 1.4 Community Engagement .. Letters of support from “1998”.
    • 3.1 Wastewater Facilities Needs
      • The Brown County Health Department has reported numerous problems with the existing on-site septic systems within the planning area over the last 20 years. The soils within the study area are not conducive to the proper operation of onsite soil absorption septic systems. Problems range from too small of lot size to soil impermeability or permeability and hilly terrain, which limit the space available for an on-site septic system. Pollution of surface water and ground water resources has been a major health issue and concern throughout the study area. Nearly all of the septic systems in the study area have experienced some
        problems, many have experienced complete failure. In the past there has been some modifications and repairs made in the Woodland Lake area due to inoperable on-site septic systems. Soil absorption fields are clogged, causing holding tanks to fill to their capacity, overflow, and discharge untreated wastewater directly onto the ground. The Bean Blossom business area has been in a state of decline since most all of the businesses do not have the necessary land available to either upgrade or even repair their septic systems. The Woodland Lake, Little Fox Lake, Freeman Ridge Road and Greasy Creek Road Areas has many homes with grossly undersized septic systems on lots with no more space available for needed absorption field expansion, replacement, or repairs.The Brown County Health Department has cited several homeowners within the planning area for septic tank and absorption field system failures. That office has denied issuing septic permits to several potential businesses and residences because of inadequate space, poor soil structure or seasonal high ground water tables that cannot be successfully lowered for a septic system. In some cases, expensive mound systems have been the only type of on-site disposal system that could be approved. Because many septic tank and absorption field systems are more than 50 years old, future additional failures are anticipated.The Brown County Health Department has also conducted stream analysis testing at several locations throughout the Bean Blossom area. These tests revealed E coli counts of 2,400 parts per million at a location downstream of the 27-lot mobile home park, and 690 parts per million at a roadside ditch located on the north side of Covered Bridge Road.The Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground is referred to as the “Mecca of Bluegrass Music” hosting several major Bluegrass Music events during the summer. The music park and campground owner expends considerable amounts of money for holding tank pump-out and disposal of their wastewater, and for 3 – 2 port-a-let rental. The music park and campground owner and maintenance personnel have expressed a need for a permanent solution to their wastewater management dilemma. A representative from the music park and campground had previously expressed a desire to provide sewer hook ups to approximately 35 campsites located at the front of the facilities should a permanent wastewater system be available. Refer to Appendix G for information to further document the project need.

In 2017, Evan Werling, {President of the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) Board requests that the State Deprarmtn of Health conduct a “Boots on the Ground” survey. The intent of the survey was to help identify the extent and scope of a problem in the Bean Blossom area to help validate the need for a sewer plant.  The Health Department refused to support this survey. This lack of support for validating a need led to the resignation of 3 of 5 board members.

  • May 9, 2017. Democrat.  Resigning sewer board volunteers claim project obstruction By Sara Clifford.  Three of the five members of the Brown County Regional Sewer District Board have resigned amid allegations that the Brown County Health Department has…
    • Werling lambasted past sewer board members and the health board for a lack of detailed documentation about the need for the sewer project, and alleged “sabotage” by the health department when the sewer board tried to obtain a “boots on the ground” survey of septic system failures in the Bean Blossom area to show the need for the project.
    • He also brought up cost omissions in the sewer project engineering report, which a previous sewer board commissioned with county money.
    • At least four engineering reports have been done since 2001.
  •  May 2, 2017. Democrat. Majority of sewer board members resign by Sara Clifford
    • Three of the five members of the Brown County Regional Sewer District Board resigned Tuesday night amid allegations that the Brown County Health Board, health department and past sewer board members have been derailing the Bean Blossom sewer project and disparaging the current sewer board along the way.
    • His presentation touched on a lack of documentation about the need for the sewer project, which has been in the works for more than 14 years; problems in the sewer project engineering report which a previous sewer board commissioned with county money; lack of health department cooperation in trying to obtain a “boots on the ground” survey of septic system failures in the Bean Blossom area to show sewer need; and name-calling which Leggett said she received at a health board meeting last fall.

Additional Information:

Approving Funding Authorities:

Rochelle K. Owen, AICP
Director of Community Programs | Indiana
Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture
Phone: (317)295-5767 | Fax: (855)541-9019

Bill Harkins
State Revolving Fund (SRF) Director
Indiana Finance Authority
(p) 317-232-4862
(e) wharkins@ifa.in.gov
Website: https://secure.in.gov/ifa/srf/2379.htm



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