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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Consulting firm to study septic issues in area south of Goshen

Failing septic systems and flooding has been a problem in the Kercher Orchard Subdivision south of Goshen.

Posted on May. 8, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May. 8, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.

GOSHEN — Homeowners south of Goshen got the answer they were hoping for this week with a new study that will take a look at how to fix problems with flooding and failing septic systems in the Kercher Orchard Subdivision.

The Elkhart County Stormwater Management Board will use stormwater fees collected annually with property taxes to pay for a study of alternative collection systems, how much they would cost and how to control flooding in parts of the subdivision.

“Historically, there have been a few issues regarding septic systems out there,” said Bill Hartsuff, environmental supervisor for the county’s health department. “We realize this is an old subdivision. The soil is fairly tight, and the lot sizes aren’t very large.”

While it’s not an issue in some areas, older parts of the subdivision tend to have heavier soil, which seems to compound problems with septic systems, Hartsuff noted.

Hartsuff said there have been “a few” reports of illicit discharges in the subdivision, which the health department has addressed case by case.

The study will encompass the subdivision between C.R. 21 to the west of Goshen Dam Pond bordered by C.R. 38 to the south.

“That sounds pretty reasonable to me,” said John Huber, a resident living on Bluff Drive who has problems with flooding on his property.

Consulting firm Jones Petrie Rafinski will lead the study, which will cost roughly $22,000 to complete. The stormwater management board plans to pay for the project using stormwater fees collected annually with property taxes. Each year, homeowners are charged $15 for residential properties, and landowners with non-residential properties pay $15 for every 3,600 square feet of hard surface.

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