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Time is wasting away for those yet to hook into sewer system

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The deadline to hook up to the New Hanover County sewer system is fast approaching. For Middle Sound Loop residents, there’s no short-term fix.

A county ordinance and funding requires the hook-up to the sewer system in the Middle Sound Loop community, but what residents don’t know, is that hooking up to the sewer system is saving the environment.

Bill Whitley has installed a few septic systems in the Middle Sound Loop community. Residents have until February to hook up to the county system. That means time is running out.

“Most of the people I know have already done it. There are very few people that haven’t. I haven’t heard about anyone freaking out about it. But if you haven’t gotten it done, you gotta do it,” Whitley said.

A septic system usually lasts no more than twenty or thirty years, so for middle-aged homes in the Middle Sound Loop community, a failing septic tank may be more common than you think.

That means waste can leak into waterways, and cause pollution.

“We have to make sure that we are not aiding, contributing to an environmental ruin because a septic system is failing,” said Kent Harrell, the CFPUA senior project manager.

The authority jump-started this connection project back in the nineties. Unless folks have a legitimate hardship or circumstance that would get in the way of them connecting to the authority’s line they have to get the work done soon.

“Lets say it cost $25,000 to connect and their septic system is working good, and the other criteria are met, then we could see granting them a deferral, not indefinitely,” Harrell said.

Whitley added, “The hardest part to deal with is if you’ve got trees you’ve got to go around, or hard soil.”

If an owner’s septic tank is far away from the sewer lines or uphill, they could be eligible for a deferral, but that would only put off the connection for a year at most.

To become eligible, owners need to contact the authority by next Thursday.

It’s important to clear up that a deferral is only temporary, and no one is exempt from hooking up to the system.

Different plumbers who are certified to inspect septic systems can help you hook up to the county system, but if a resident refuses, they could face financial penalties and be at risk of having their water shut off if they get water from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

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Story summary

videoThe deadline to hook up to the New Hanover County sewer system is fast approaching. For Middle Sound Loop residents, there’s no short-term fix.

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