Grant will extend sewer service to 66 Sawmills households

Jun. 11, 2013 @ 05:06 PM

Soon, people in 66 Sawmills households will no longer feel the effects of the failing septic system in the Duff Drive area.

Town officials were notified on Friday the town will receive a $750,000 Community Development Block grant for new sewer infrastructure in that area.

Those 66 households – on Jay Street, Oxford Drive, Gatewood Drive, Maggie Lane and Duff Drive – have never had sewer infrastructure, and the privately owned septic systems they rely on are failing.

Fixing failing septic systems is a top priority in Sawmills, Town Administrator Seth Eckard said – largely because the failing systems are a health hazard.

“Human sewage is loaded with pathogens that can threaten the health of people who swim in polluted water or drink contaminated well water,” Eckard said. “Human waste has to go somewhere, and if a septic system is failing, it won’t just disappear.”

The issue isn’t only a concern in the Duff Drive area. Currently, about a third (33 percent) of town residents are served by the town’s sewer lines, and failing septic systems are a concern throughout Sawmills, Eckard said.

Construction on the Duff Drive lines will likely begin in six to eight months, Eckard said. And the town will continue to seek grant money to broaden its sewer system to other areas.

“Building and extending new sewer infrastructure is one of Sawmills’ highest priorities,” he said.