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Man with failed cesspool joining city sewer system

August 11, 2000

Man with failed cesspool joining city sewer system



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


The raw sewage seeping down a Hagerstown street from a homeowner's failed cesspool may stop today.

The Maryland Department of the Environment is suing George Shingleton, 49, of 542 Pangborn Boulevard, to force him to abandon his failed cesspool, connect to the Hagerstown sewer system and pay a $1,000 fine.

Friday, Shingleton paid a $1,200 fee to have city workers install a pipe connecting the main sewer line to his property. Shingleton expects his plumber to connect his home pipes to the city sewer line today.

Earlier this week Shingleton was concerned state officials would have him locked from his house Friday to keep him from using his sewer system until he connected to a public system.

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He said he initiated the final steps of the connection process Friday because he's "tired of the hassle."

"It was getting out of hand," he said.

Shingleton hopes by connecting to the city sewer system the court actions will be dropped. His case is scheduled for a hearing in Washington County Circuit Court later this month.

Shingleton's cesspool is a stone-lined pit buried under his front yard.

He said he did not notice the cesspool overflowing until 1999. He did not know how the problem started, but said construction at the nearby Fairgrounds Park may have cracked the stones in his cesspool, allowing groundwater to seep into the pit.

Shingleton said it's water from an underground stream that is causing his cesspool to overflow.

According to the lawsuit, Shingleton has been cited twice by the Washington County Health Department for allowing sewage to leak from the cesspool and failing to correct the problem. The Health Department issued nuisance abatement notices to Shingleton in July 1999 and February 2000.

In October 1999, Shingleton was convicted of failing to comply with the abatement notice, according to the lawsuit.

Shingleton lives just outside the city limits but is within the city's sewer service area.

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