Great article by the Helena Independent Record. Regarding septic systems in Helena, Montana.
For more information go to Helenair.com
Up to 150 septic-system owners in the Lake Helena Watershed area are eligible for $100 vouchers toward pumping their tanks.
Lewis and Clark County’s Beth Norberg, a sanitarian with the health department’s environmental health division, said she hopes the vouchers encourage residents to adhere to the county’s new septic maintenance program, which is aimed at protecting public health and water quality. She pointed out that some eligible system owners reside in Jefferson County, and are not be required to adhere to Lewis and Clark County’s septic requirements.
The maintenance program, which requires septic system owners to jointly keep track of their system’s pumping with the county, began in July 2011. Since then, Norberg said about 600 county septic system owners have received notification of the new program, which requires owners to either fill out an assessment or have their system professionally inspected to determine how often it needs to be pumped.
The information goes into a countywide database that will keep track of everyone’s septic systems. Norberg said about half of those 600 have registered, but she’s not sure all of them have had their systems pumped.
She said there are between 6,000 and 8,000 septic-system owners in the Lake Helena Watershed area, including those in Jefferson County. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years.
The average cost of pumping the average 1,000-gallon tank falls between $150 and $200, she said, so the 150 people who obtain a voucher will more than likely spend less than half of what they would normally would. The vouchers are given directly to the licensed septic tank pumper at the time of service. Homeowners are responsible for paying the balance.
The vouchers will be given on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30 or the funding runs out, officials said.