Some Norton homeowners say they're in shock when hearing how much it will cost them to hook up to the city's sewer system, after city officials told them they'll have to abandon their older, failing septic systems. The cost to extend city sewer lines to the neighborhood known as Nash Heights could be as high as 25 to $30,000 each for some residents.
But Norton Finance Director John Moss says the EPA has given the city no other choice after the failing septic systems started dumping human waste into ditches in the area.
Moss tells AkronNewsNow " There are failing systems in these neighborhoods. Whether people realize it or not, you cant just leave a failed system, it dumps raw sewage into the environment. And the EPA has mandated that we test, we've found that we have that problem, and they've mandated that we have to fix that problem."
Moss says replacing each septic system is not an option, only a hook-up to the city sewer system. He says residents don't realize how expensive extending the sewer infrastructure to the neighborhoods really is.
"They do have a problem that at the end of their septic systems life it needs to be repaired or replaced, and under today's regulation with the EPA it's not cheap and they're not thinking about that," says Moss.
John Moss says the cost of hooking up to the sewers would be spread over a 20 year period in the form of assessments. He says it will be quite a while before the sewer system could be extended to the affected neighborhoods. " You have the entire process of design, going to bid, construction, wrapping up the accounting. It could be two or three years before you even start any payments."
Affected residents have been packing Norton City Council chambers over the past few weeks protesting the EPA and city mandates.