The county health department has received more complaints of sewage in ditches.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- Residents in the southwest area of Hubbard Township will widen their petition drive to get sanitary sewers.
Township Trustee Fred Hanley said a committee of Woodbine Avenue area residents initiated the petition, but the problem of faulty septic systems is areawide.
That's the conclusion drawn from a long meeting Wednesday in the township administration building to determine what can be done to treat sewage.
Fifty-four homeowners have been put on notice by the Trumbull County Health Department that their systems are not functioning properly.
Hanley said the county department has received an additional 94 complaints of unsanitary conditions of sewage running into ditches.
Hanley estimates that there are about 900 homeowners who need sanitary sewers. This, he noted, doesn't include vacant property in the low- to moderate-income area.
Here's the problem
Cities with sewage treatment plants can't extend their lines, Hanley said.
Youngstown has a moratorium on extending lines because of an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency complaint concerning that city's treatment of storm water.
Hubbard's plant is at capacity.
"They have some time if they work together," Hanley said of the property owners petitioning the county for construction of sanitary sewers.
Here's the procedure
Health department notices give homeowners 14 days to respond to the board and 60 days to upgrade their septic systems, Hanley said.
The petitions can delay enforcement of the notices if homeowners agree to pump out their septic tanks or repair faulty leaching beds.
Hanley said the county may be able to get government grants for the sewers because of the lower income levels.
However, sewers are expensive.
They can cost $30 to $40 per front footage, $1,500 to $2,000 to run a lateral line from the sewer to the home and a $1,050 county tap-in fee.
That could cost some property owners as much as $20,000, officials estimate.