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Septic tank numbers concern administrator

October 08, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

Waynesboro, Pa. - Township Administrator Michael Christopher told the Washington Township Supervisors Monday night that he was becoming concerned that some 200 property owners have yet to have their septic tanks cleaned out.

The deadline for the cleaning is Dec. 31.

The township has been under orders from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that every private septic tank is cleaned out once every three years.

The supervisors separated the township into thirds when the policy took effect in 1998.

There are about 950 private septic tanks in the township. Residents in the township's west end were ordered to clean their tanks in 1998, the center section was done in 1999 and the east end in 2000.

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The rotation began again last year with the west end. Each section was given the calendar year to get the work done, Jerry Zeigler, zoning enforcement officer for the township said Monday.

Christopher told the supervisors that about 200 property owners of the 365 in the central section have yet to comply.

"There's less than three months to go," he said. "We're starting to get concerned. This means more administrative work for us."

Zeigler said second notices will be mailed to the affected owners this week.

The state DEP ordered the routine cleaning to ensure that septic systems work properly, Zeigler said.

Property owners pay an average of $100 to any of an approved list of six to eight contractors to have their tanks cleaned, Zeigler said.

He said the township has had to threaten legal action against some procrastinating property owners in the last three years, but all complied when they learned they would have to pay a fine and court costs in addition to the cost of having their tanks cleaned.

Zeigler said he expects the remaining owners will comply when they receive their second notice later this week.

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