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Devola sewer would be progress

I have listened for several years as the city and county squabble about the sewer project in Devola. Now some citizens themselves have entered the fray and created an organization to fight to keep the antiquated individual septic system that replaced the old-fashioned “outhouse” of yester-year. The “citizens” group has even retained an attorney and convinced the county board of health to support their cause. Really?

Since when does a health department come down on the side of maintaining a system that undoubtedly has not kept up with the newer technology and has the potential to subject citizens to untreated or improperly treated sewage in our rivers and water table? The stark reality is that there are properties in Devola that do not have adequate square footage to accommodate the aerated septic systems that newer construction now requires. Furthermore, some homeowners have actually paved over their septic tanks or placed swimming pools there. Now explain to me how these septic tanks will be pumped out or replaced if needed?

A modern, centralized septic system to manage the waste from the increasing number of residents (yes ,Devola is larger than it was in 1950) would not only protect the ground water and the river from contamination but increase property values and ensure future development of the community. Does anyone like to pay more taxes? Of course, not. However, my understanding is that Commissioner Schilling has identified a possible funding stream from the State of Ohio that could help the community complete the project. Instead of arguing whether Devola should move into the 21st century of sanitation, the County Board of Health should be helping the County Commission to secure the State Funds to help complete the project.

Let’s face it. Some in our county simply don’t want the government “messing in our business” or “telling us what to do.” This seems to hold until they want they government to clear the snow or pave the highways. Maybe some septic systems are working fine now, maybe some are not and haven’t for years. Who would know? The idea is that in a community “we the people” make decisions based on what is best for all of us and for future citizens.

I signed the right of way agreement when asked and urge other Devola residents to do the same. In addition, I request that the Board of Health revisit their “resolution” and vote to support the progress in public infrastructure that the installation of a sanitary sewer in the Devola community would represent.

Teresa R. Porter

Marietta (Devola)

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