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Cesspools still exist in Logan; council says they can be legal

December 7th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Mitch Figgat

LOGAN — Sewage cesspools are still in use within city limits, the City Council learned Tuesday night.

There are still properties within city limits that are not connected to the sewage system, Salt Lake City real estate agent Lisa Edgington told the council. These properties feed into nearby cesspools, an outdated sewage system thought to be replaced years before.

“I will speak for the majority of us on the council, saying that we had no idea there were still places like this in Logan,” said Council Chairman Herm Olson.

“I have sold properties for years in Salt Lake, but I have never encountered anything like this before,” Edgington said.

Edgington was representing buyers interested in a property located at 461 E. 300 North in Logan. Once the property was inspected it was discovered that sewage from the house was running into a cesspool placed under the house, instead of into the nearby city sewage system. The property owner refused to pay the fee to connect the house to the sewer and canceled the sale, which Edgington said is against city code. She then attempted to involve the public works department.

“On Nov. 16 we were informed that the city municipal code was being reversed and that the property owner did not need to hook up to the city sewage system,” said Edgington.

Mark Neilson, Logan Public Works director, said, “once a cesspool stops to function then, that is when we will hook up to the sewage system.”

Both Neilson and Rich Anderson, the council’s financial director, explained that this is an outdated sewage method. They do not know the exact number of cesspools left within city limits, but it has been not required that property owners stop using them, even though it is in the municipal code.

Councilwoman Laraine Swenson said, “Why would we have that in our code if we don’t enforce it?”

“There are a lot of codes we do not enforce, we won’t until it is a health hazard,” said Anderson.

Edgington ended her statement by saying, “This is a health concern, which is much more important than parking strips. Other towns have required it so should Logan.”

Olson thanked Edgington for bringing the problem to the council’s attention and said the council will look into it, as it is a fact that much of the council was not even aware it existed.

In other business, council members Jay A. Monson and Laraine Swenson finished their terms on the council and were awarded both wooden clocks as a representation that their time was up.

“Logan City is in good hands, I have always enjoyed working on the council,” said Monson.


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