County continues efforts to tax septic systems

June 15th, 2016 by Ken

Thurston County Commissioners, operating as the Board of Health, have held a series of meetings around the county to educate homeowners on a proposal to tax septic systems.   The most recent was held last night.

Commissioners want to levy a fee on all 53,000 septic tank owners in the county of up to $66 per month for the purpose of protecting the groundwater, used by most people in the county as drinking water.   A significant number of that 53,000 are in the City of Lacey or in the Lacey Urban Growth Area.

The county claims that failing septic systems pose a major threat to the quality of the drinking water.    The solution they claim is to put as many people as possible on sewer systems.   Some of the money collected by the new tax will be used to assist septic tank owners in the urban areas to hook up to sewers.

While most health experts believe that failing septic systems are the major cause of groundwater contamination in the county, others are not as certain.

No one is really sure what is in our drinking water.  LOTT, which operates the only sewer system in the county is currently engaged in a major – and expensive – study of our drinking water to ascertain what chemicals are leaching into our water supply

Preliminary results of that study should be released shortly.

In the meantime, those of us on sewers, pay up to $60 a month for the privilege of protecting our source of drinking water – and getting rid of our human waste.    The debate is whether or not those on septic systems should be forced to do the same thing.  It’s such a political hot button issue that by the end of this year, all three county commissioners who first proposed the concept will be gone from their commission seats.

Posted in Government, The Real News

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