CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – If you live in Ohio and have a septic system we have some information you need to know. Mahoning County Public Health briefed homeowners on changes in the state at a public briefing Tuesday evening.
As early as 2015, the state stipulated that homeowners must check and approve their septic tanks.
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“We didn’t want to wait until the last minute, but we wanted to hold back and let other counties take the lead. We wanted to see what worked well, ”said Colton Masters of Mahoning County Public Health.
Mahoning County has until 2025 to ensure homeowners are complying with the law. These inspections must be carried out by a private contractor.
“They will look at the various aspects and see if there is any minor repairs to be made and if everything is working properly,” said Masters.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, nearly 31 percent of all septic systems in Ohio fail.
“When wastewater is dumped into the ground directly at the surface – it’s not treated, it’s not cared for – bacteria and the diseases associated with them can seep through the soil into the groundwater,” said Masters.
There is a fee associated with the approval. Masters says although the state requires systems audits, it does not provide funding, so the cost falls on the homeowner.
“We don’t want to raise all taxes, we don’t want to have to put taxes on the ballot, things like that. In all honesty, it’s just not fair, ”said Masters.
There are three levels of septic systems. The person in your home will determine what your permit fee will be.
“Level one is your simplest systems, these are your septic tanks for leaching wastewater treatment plants in the field. These are by far the most common in the county, “said Masters.
Most Mahoning County people with a septic tank receive a letter with instructions and have a month to prove that their septic tank is working properly and to pay the permit fee. Any unpaid fees will be added to your property tax along with a penalty fee.
Click here to view the full PowerPoint file discussed at the Tuesday evening meeting.