Society

Septic systems require vigilance from county

On September 26 and 27 two of f icers from the Waco regional office of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality conducted an audit of our Milam County on-site sewage facilities procedures and record keeping to determine whether we are in compliance with state regulations.

This basically has to do with our enforcement of regulations regarding septic systems in the county which is carried out by licensed representative Kenny Schneebeli from the Mi lam County Health Department.

Although the focus was primarily on septic systems, they also reviewed our f lood plain and subdivision applications and records, which Kenny also administers.

All applications and records were reviewed back through 2010 when Schneebeli became the Milam County inspector.

During this time, enforcement has become much more stringent, and as a result the auditors have reported that we are in compliance.

They recommended a few minor changes to some of the forms being used and suggested updates to our orders, but otherwise our house is in order.

Kenny tells me that over the past couple of years he’s only issued about half a dozen citations, mostly to aerobic system maintenance providers who have not been doing proper maintenance on systems.

He has f ined one or two homeowners that have aerobic systems who did not have maintenance contracts in place on their systems.

They actually contested the fines taking them to trial before a jury in JP court and were found guilty in violation of the county’s order adopted by the commissioners court.

Another citation involved an unlicensed installer who installed an illegal system and without a permit. Like I say, we are having to insist on compliance going forward.

We recognize that these regulations that are being enforced have not always been popular, or even necessary in some remote areas (at least maybe not at the present time).

But if we had not been diligent these officers would have found us out of compliance and the county would have been subject to fines.

Milam County first started keeping septic system inspection records back in 1998.

The policy order authorizing the current Milam County procedure for regulating on-site sewage facilities was passed by the Commissioner’s Court on August 28, 2006 and approved by TCEQ on September 22, 2006.

This policy order basically states that Milam County will follow the rules and specifications established by TCEQ for on-site sewer facilities.

All constructions of, alterations, extensions, or repairs to on-site septic systems shall be permit ted and inspected regardless of size of tract of land.

Copies of the order may be viewed on our web site at www.milamcounty.net along with the current Policy Manual and application forms for obtaining a permit.

There have been 482 septic systems instal led in Mi lam Countyfrom2006todate including 53 so far this year.

dbarkemeyer@milamcounty.net


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