Solving the sewer mysteryI recently received a rather scary letter informing me that a complaint had been filed with the county planning and zoning board regarding my private onsite wastewater treatment system (POWTS). My POWTS? Wastewater treatment? No! it’s what we called in the day a septic system.
By: John Windolff, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
I recently received a rather scary letter informing me that a complaint had been filed with the county planning and zoning board regarding my private onsite wastewater treatment system (POWTS).
My POWTS? Wastewater treatment? No! it’s what we called in the day a septic system.
The letter arrived Saturday and stated a complaint had been filed claiming an overflow pipe attached to the septic tank was discharging waste water onto the ground. If action was not taken immediately fines of up to $500 a day could be imposed until the problem was resolved.
Adjacent to the homestead is a five acre heavily wooded lot that we also own, and in the center of that lot there sticks out an old rusty pipe. Just by looking at it you can tell nothing has flown through the pipe in decades. Who ever made the complaint had to be in the woods and move a little earth to detect the pipe. Then, since the pipe runs in the general direction of the house, made the assumption that it was connected to the septic tank.
I called the zoning dept. at 9:15 a.m. Monday and by 9:30 a.m. there were two inspectors searching the thick five acres for the pipe from nowhere to prove the claim from no one.
The county policy is to investigate all complaints their office receives no matter what the form. Written, verbal, signed or anonymous, true or false, they have committed to investigate all suggestions of violations. When I inquired if I may see the complaint I was told it is county policy not to reveal the source.
They must be scared of septic retaliation, or the outhouse wars of the late 19th century. The person who made this report committed at least three crimes in the commission of the report. Must be part of the snitch on your neighbor policy Pelosi and Joe McCarthy seem to favor.
To the phantom “Septic Man” if you’re lurking in my woods you may want to try your hand at window peeking. If you’re lucky enough to catch me in a “full Monty” you have been punished enough.
The county also stated that they have no records of a sanitary permit ever being issued for my property. I wonder what they thought we were doing with our waste for the last 37 years -- constructing our own version of the Great Pyramid? Happily the search revealed no violations and all ended well.