Legislation – Septic Systems and County Wastewater Strategy

Property owners could ‘supersede’ Indiana health officials over septic systems under House bill by Casey Smith, Indiana Capital Chronicle, Mar 29, 2023

Post of the article and comments at Brown County Matters

Wow. The county had similar issues raised last year regarding the new county septic ordinance that the commissioners passed 2 to 1. Biddle and Braden voted yes. Pittman was the no vote.
House Bill 1647 would grant Hoosier property owners the ability to override local health department decisions about new septic system installations and existing systems that have failed — as long as they have a paid consultant who agrees with them.” The proposed legislation also suggests that all county septic ordinances be voided.
The So what? The Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) can force sewer hookups and grant temporary waivers if a septic system passes “their” inspection. This legislation will allow homeowners to hire their own consultants to determine adequacy.
Soils? Nothing is mentioned in the proposed legislation that per the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD, counties with inadequate soils like Brown County should have no septic systems. IDOH estimated that only 20% of the 1 million septic systems in the State could be inadequate.
The Brown County RSD has stated that county soils are not suitable for septic systems and speculated a failure rate of 76% to help justify a $50 million dollar sewer expansion to serve about 770 homes to be funded by the State, Feds, and customers. Per the BCRSD, this leaves another 7,300 systems in the county that need to be replaced by better systems approved by the BCRSD. And, what would be the price tag???
Agriculture Policy. And as a bonus, the BCRSD is taking the lead in eliminating e.coli due to farming/livestock management practices. Pastureland is the major cause of e.coli in the county and was identified as a major cause in other water quality studies within the state as well. (Ref: Brown County Wastewater Strategic Plan and Watershed Study
Question or Concern? Have a question or concern about the county strategy and study that was funded with over $100K of tax dollars? Just send the BCRSD an email or contact a board member who may tell you to send them an email: Board members are: Clint Studabaker (Project Lead), Richard Hall, Mike Leggins, Phil LBlanc, Matt Hanlon. With the support of elected officials, the BCRSD has refused to allow or support a public meeting to address the questions and concerns of citizens.

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