Sewer system connection on tap for township

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By Michelle Dupler
Staff Writer

Franklin Township’s Eureka Park neighborhood soon will become the newest to connect to a sanitary sewer system instead of aging septic systems.

“Replacing these old, leaking systems with modern sewer infrastructure creates good jobs and can lift the neighborhood property values,” said Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks. “All county residents deserve to have safe, sanitary conditions in which to raise a family.”

The county recently announced that the department of sanitary engineering is starting the process to solicit bids for the $1.49 million project, with construction expected to happen through most of this year.

The county identified several neighborhoods, including Eureka Park, in the township where failing septic systems are contaminating groundwater and scheduled them for sewer construction over a period of a few years.

“Like anything, home septic systems have a life-span,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “If you don’t maintain or eventually replace them, they leak into the groundwater, which is not something any homeowner wants.  This and other projects protect the environment and, most importantly, our residents.”

Other neighborhoods that are planned to receive sewer service include Mon-E-Bak and Brown Road East. However, the county encountered delays in connecting the latter two neighborhoods when the contractor who was awarded the bid reportedly didn’t build the sewer lines to the correct specifications.

The county is continuing efforts to resolve questions over the surety bond that guaranteed the contractor’s work before construction can resume, according to the last Franklin Township newsletter.

In the meantime, county officials say that Eureka Park residents can expect to see sewer construction in their neighborhood start in the spring. Officials estimate residents will be able to connect to the new sewer system in 2015.

The project is expected to provide sewer service to 68 Eureka Park residents. Residents will have to pay the costs of connection and to shut down their septic systems.

According to Stephen Renner, director of sanitary engineering with the county, the cost could range between $4,000 to $6,000 or more per connection, or household. He said the cost depends on how far the property is from the water main line and how extensive the septic system is in the individual’s yard.

Financial assistance is available for low-income individuals through the Franklin County Department of Public Health.

“If loans are needed, we will try to connect those individuals to the different programs available,” said Renner.

Construction costs for the Eureka Park project are being paid by grants and loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission and the Ohio Water Development Authority.

“This project gets rid of almost 70 sources, or potential sources, of contamination and pollution,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “It’s a collaborative effort between the county, the state Public Works Commission’s Capital Infrastructure Program, and residents. And it benefits not only local residents, but the entire county to clean up these sources of contamination.”

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