Septic tanks have been discharging into Diehl Lake.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Plans are on the board to extend Mahoning County sewer service to residents around Diehl Lake, off state Route 45 in Ellsworth Township.
County commissioners voted Thursday to accept bids for the project, which will include construction of a collection system and treatment plant.
Sanitary Engineer Joseph Warino said the cost will be about $900,000, with about $200,000 of that to be paid with a state grant. The balance will be covered by a loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which is to be repaid with revenue from user fees.
Township Trustee Gerald Grace said about 50 homes, including his own, on a 250-acre area will be affected.
Tank discharge: He said the area has a history of septic tank discharge into the lake, which feeds Meander Reservoir. There have been about 40 such cases reported to the county health department in the past 35 years, Grace said.
He said the problems were reported by the homeowners themselves and have been corrected as they occurred. But soil conditions around the lake are such that there will most likely be more leaks in the future, he said.
"It's been a big problem and it's very expensive," Grace said, noting it costs $5,000 to $10,000 to repair a leaking septic tank.
The system will be built with enough capacity that it can eventually be expanded to take on more users, Grace said.
Construction is expected to begin in mid-September and take six months.