FT sewer issue bubbles back up
Residents of and near the Mon-E-Back Subdivision in Franklin County do not look forward to hot summer days.
“The smell outside is horrendous,” said Bobbie Kean. “All you can smell is raw sewage.”
Nor do they look forward to rainy days.
“Anytime there is standing water or serious rain, we consider the ground contaminated,” she added.
The reason for this aversion to nature stems from having a failing septic system.
“Mon-E-Back was one of eight areas in the township that were deemed blighted, meaning they qualified for Franklin County’s Water Quality Partnership (WQP),” explained Tim Guyton, Franklin Township Board of Trustees chair.
The WQP program was initiated to address serious public health issues such as pollution due to failing septic and aeration systems by forming partnerships with local townships and villages.
These areas, which also included Brown Road East, Brown Road West, Eureka Park, Briggsdale, Hague Avenue, San Margherita and Stimmel Road, were selected for the WQP project in 2003 due to a large volume of complaints received by the Franklin County Board of Health related to failing on-lot septic and leaching systems.
Since the projected $10 million project budgeted by the Franklin County Commissioners began, only a fraction of the neighborhoods that were deemed blighted have seen their septic system hooked to a central sewer system, and those who have not seen any improvements have been waiting for their turn.
“I believe they (the Franklin County Department of Sanitary Engineering) are starting on Brown Road East this year, and the remaining projects are waiting for funding,” said Guyton.
Kean said she has spoken to Steve Renner, director of sanitary engineering, who, according to Kean, estimated the cost of installing a new sanitary sewer system in Mon-E-Back at $4.2 million.
As of press time, calls made to the sanitary engineer’s office were not returned.
Kean, who moved three years ago to Skidmore Hills II – a subdivision that borders Mon-E-Back and is included in the Mon-E-Back sewer improvement project – is concerned that the slowness of the project and the increasing number of complaints made with the Franklin County Board of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will force the Ohio EPA to declare the area a sanitation hazard.
“If that happens, our property values will go to zero,” she said. “We won’t be able to give away our houses.”
In her three years in the area, Kean has spent time talking with county commissioners and the department of sanitary engineering, but feels she is going nowhere fast in her quest to see sewer improvements for the subdivision.
Because of this, she decided to start a community flyer campaign in Mon-E-Back with the contact numbers of the commissioners and everyone else connected to the WQP sewer improvement project (as well as the Ohio EPA and Board of Health) that could help speed the process up.
“I think there is strength in numbers,” she said. “I think that the more calls we all make, the more power we have to get this thing done with.”
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