Public health officials and officials from Falls Township met with the Muskingum County Commissioners Monday to discuss a growing sewage problem for an area neighborhood.
The problem is occurring in a residential area of approximately 116 homes in Licking View. Many homes in the area were built from the 1920s to the 1950s when regulations were not as strict as they are now. Public Health Sanitarian Matt Hemmer said collection systems that were made to work at the time are now dated.
"The problems that residents are currently seeing are that sewage is surfacing on the ground," Hemmer said. "That's also creating an odor, and that is considered an unsanitary condition."
The health department took two different samples of the effluent in response to nuisance sewage complaints. Both tests came back to show that it was indeed sewage. While the problems are clear, the solutions are not.
"Solutions are going to be difficult to determine at this point because of the nature of the combined system," Hemmer said. "It will be difficult to determine what homes are served by this system, and also what homes are creating a problem for this system."
The county commissioners are seeking an estimate from engineers on costs for hooking into the public system. While getting connected to this system is expected to be the permanent long term solution to the problem, the commissioners say the soonest this could be done would be 2018 to 2019...and it would also likely come with a high price tag for residents living in the area. As far as what to do in the meantime? That still remains up in the air.