First phase should be last phase

Elevated nitrate concentrations in drinking water should no longer be a closely watched regulatory problem for Devola residents. Devola’s Putnam Water Association has potentially saved its customers, who have private septic tanks, from an unneeded sewer expansion project.

In the act of upgrading the water treatment plant in Devola to eliminate elevated nitrate concentrations, the privately-owned Putnam Water Association has taken a good step to preserve Devola’s East Muskingum Township citizens’ self-autonomy and independent home septic tank systems.

The EPA has aggressively cited an occasional drinking water quality issue, which the EPA has related to nitrates from sewer, as a reason to force an expanded Devola sewer project. The injustice is the expanded project will force high costs upon homeowners with private septic tank systems. Devola residents enjoy the liberty of their private property, self-autonomy and independent sewer tank systems approved through the Washington County Health Department.

Devola’s Putnam Water Association nitrate problem has been fixed and does not exist. Therefore, common sense suggests the EPA does not have a valid reason to further force a sewer expansion upon Devola’s property owners. Putnam Water Association has remedied the drinking water nitrate concern by having finally been permitted to install and operate a reverse osmosis process. Reverse osmosis will be used to treat a sufficient volume of water to lower the concentration of regulated nitrates in Devola’s drinking water.

The EPA had fought Devola’s completely viable reverse osmosis solution. The EPA had said no to reverse osmosis and instead wanted Devola to buy supplemental water from Warren Water Co. (Waterford) to dilute Devola’s nitrate concentrations. The Warren Water Co. remedy included a plan for a more expensive cross-river water line project. Never-minding the cost, is anyone not convinced the EPA sought to eliminate Devola’s water production independence?

The first phase of the Devola Sewer Project is completed. The first phase involved relining leaky sewer lines and installation of a sewer pump station for the selection of Devola that had no septic tanks. The pump station sends the raw sewage to Marietta’s wastewater treatment plant. I am a Devola homeowner and wish to avoid any monthly sewer bill, expensive tap fees, related higher property taxes and additional operating cost which would be due because of a bureaucratic, non-elected government official’s sewer hookup mandate.

The EPA lacks common sense, lacks common decency and lacks respect for private property rights. The first phase of Devola’s sewer project should be its last phase.

Glen Pawloski

Devola