Hilliard Northwest News

Sanitary sewer fix has trustees questioning who should pay


Norwich Township officials are questioning whether a private property owner or the township is responsible for the cost to properly connect an aerator into a sanitary sewer line.

Road Superintendent Steve Montgomery on May 7 told trustees that several residents adjacent to a residence in the 1400 block of Birchwood Drive complained about odors emanating from the property, especially in damp weather.

Aeration systems treat the discharge from septic tanks before it passes into a sanitary sewer and serves the same purpose as a leach bed.

An aerator must be tied into a closed system rather than an open swale, which is the case at the Birchwood Drive property.

A saturated ground exacerbates the effects because the ground cannot absorb the runoff, Montgomery said.

The Franklin County Board of Health has ordered the township to make the required repair.

"Shouldn't the owner fix the problem?" asked Trustee Chuck Buck.

Montgomery said he agreed with Buck, but the board of health had ordered it properly connected.

"It's not a big cost to do it, but if we do it for this property owner, we could be asked to do it for others," Montgomery said.

In another matter relating to the board of health, Township Administrator Kate Cavanaugh reported the board had further reduced its number of health inspectors to two.

"We want the public to know that as a result, it is taking longer to respond to public complaints," Trustee Larry Earman said. "We want them to know so it doesn't look like we're dragging our heels."

The trustees on May 7 also approved a donation of $500 to the Northwest Franklin County Historical Society for the organization's support of the township's bicentennial and approved JPMorgan Chase as one of the township's depositors for public funds.