April 1 Vote Could Hold Solutions to Waste-Water Neighborhood Districts Provide Sewer Option

By Ralph Dummit Of The St. Charles Post | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

April 1 Vote Could Hold Solutions to Waste-Water Neighborhood Districts Provide Sewer Option


Ralph Dummit Of The St. Charles Post, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


For years, residents of the 19 houses along Eisenhower Drive outside St. Peters have had problems with their septic sewer systems and the drilled wells they rely on for drinking water.

They are not alone.

Surveys by Archer Engineers of St. Charles and others indicate that nearly 6,000 homes in St. Charles County have inadequate waste-water systems, which are discharging fecal coliform and other disease-bearing agents into the ground and lakes and streams. A report prepared for the county's Duckett Creek Sanitary District says outflow from inadequate private sewer systems "poses an immediate health hazard" and "places much of the county's drinking water and recreational bodies of water at risk through contamination with bacterial and viral organisms." Inspections by Sandy May, supervisor of code enforcement for the county Building Department, have found that septic tanks along Eisenhower Drive were built in the 1950s and 1960s, long before more advanced technology was available and before environmental and zoning ordinances were in effect. Most of the septic systems have failed, in one way or another. Soil with a high content of clay has been unable to absorb the flow from the septic tanks, some of them constructed of brick instead of concr ete. Stagnant water from the leach fields has stood in low areas and ditches, contaminating the groundwater or ultimately flowing into a creek that winds through Country Crossing, an upscale Whittaker Homes subdivision under construction a short distance to the southeast. Eisenhower Drive is west of Birdie Hills Road, about a mile and a half south of Mexico Road. Water samples taken from drilled wells along Eisenhower Drive have shown a dangerous degree of contamination from failed septic systems built nearby. Water from the wells needs special treatment. Some of the wells have run dry, including that of Alan Dobson, a resident on Eisenhower Drive. For the past year and a half, Dobson and his wife and two children have relied on 175 feet of garden hose to get water from a neighbor's well. "It's a very distressing situation," he said. Now, an affordable solution may be at hand. In the April 1 election, Eisenhower Drive residents will be asked to approve formation of a neighborhood improvement district, or NID. If four-sevenths of the residents vote in favor of the district - or 21 of the 36 who so far have registered to vote - the county will tap into a state revolving fund for bonds to finance the connection of the homes in the district to the St. …

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April 1 Vote Could Hold Solutions to Waste-Water Neighborhood Districts Provide Sewer Option
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