City Requirement To Tie Into City Sewer Could Bring Cost Savings For Septic Tank Owners

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There are dozens and dozens of septic tanks in Augusta’s Sand Ridge neighbor, and they won’t   last forever.

“It’s a system that’s going to fail it’s the maintenance it’s the kind of water that goes in there and the soil how well they will work and how long they will work,” says Randy Wishard Environmental Heath County Manager for the Richmond County Health Department.

And if your septic tank fails and your house are are 200 feet from a sewer line state health regulations say the connection sewer shall be made.

 “If sewer is available to that property we not issue a repair permit,” says Wishard.

So commissioners are debating mandating all septic tanks owners within 100 feet an existing sewer tie in.

The city will pay the up-front costs and then bill septic tank owners the five hundred dollar fee over three years on the sewer bill.

The city estimates if owners had to connect to the sewer on their own a plumber would charge between 15 hundred and two thousand dollars, so there’s savings requiring person tying in.

“If we can bid these blocks of work together we are going to get our best price and make it the least cost for the customer,” says Utilities Department Director Tom Wiedmeier.

Commissioner Hap Harris was a member of the sewer tie in subcommittee he doesn’t like mandating the tie-ins but feels it may be the less painful course of action.

The truth is it is eventually something that will happen it can happen now or it can happen later if we can make it incredibly less financially painful that would be a good thing.

Some Engineering committee members want to know if the 500 dollar tap in fee could be waived for the septic tank owners and then the city could re-coup connection fees through the growing number of sewer customers.

But that has raised questions it could violate the “gratuities clause of the State Constitution.

The Engineering Services Committee will take another crack at the proposal in two weeks.

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