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Septic waste backs up in Jefferson County

April 08, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County needs a place to put waste pumped from homeowners' septic tanks so it can be partially treated before going to the Charles Town waste treatment plant, county Public Service District officials said Tuesday.

Charles Town's waste treatment plant has not been able to accept waste from septic waste haulers for about two months, officials said.

The waste from haulers is too toxic for the plant to handle, so the septic tank waste is hauled to a treatment facility in Winchester, Va., officials said. The longer hauling distance means delays for homeowners who want their septic tanks pumped and the cost has increased significantly, officials said.

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One Jefferson County hauler has a 30-day waiting period before he can get to homes to pump out the septic tanks.

Public Service District officials, in a special meeting with the Jefferson County Commissioners and other county officials, said they have a plan to use an old waste lagoon at the industrial park in Bardane, W.Va., to partially treat the waste so that it can go into the Charles Town treatment plant.

Construction and equipment for the lagoon would cost an estimated $422,000, and required bonds would push the final figure to about $531,000, said Wilbur Smith, a consulting engineer with the Public Service District.

It would cost about $50,200 a year to operate the facility, Smith said.

The facility is expected to last about 20 years and could generate revenue, Smith said. If there was not enough waste generated in the county the facility could be opened up to haulers from outside the county who would be charged a discharge fee.

County development officials said they were concerned that odor from the facility would drive tenants out of the industrial park and discourage others from locating there.

Public Service District officials said the treatment process would kill any odors. They said the only time there would be an odor is when the haulers pump out the waste from the trucks.

County officials said they will discuss the issue further at future meetings.

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