Rep. Bacon: Protecting Hoosiers from forced municipal sewage tap-ins

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Monday, March 7, 2016 8:00 am

Protecting Hoosiers from forced municipal sewage tap-ins

This session, I co-authored a bill protecting homeowners living outside city or town limits from mandatory sewage tap-ins.

This legislation works to protect Hoosiers living outside city limits from being forced to tap into the municipal sewage system. Under current law, a municipality may require connection to its sewer system and the discontinuance of the use of privies, cesspools, septic tanks and similar structures used for sewage disposal if there is an available sewer within 300 feet of a home. The municipality must notify the property owner 90 days prior to the connection date and can enact penalties if homeowners do not tap into the available sewer.

House Bill 1075 would exempt a property owner from being required to connect to the sewer system if the property is located outside of the municipality, and the owner’s sewage disposal system is a septic tank soil absorption system or a constructed wetland septic system that has been approved by and given a written determination from the local health department that the septic tank system is not failing.

If a resident has purchased or built a house within the last 20 years, they would be able to file for a 10-year exemption as well as two five-year exemptions, for a total 20-year exemption from tapping into the municipal sewage system. A house that is five years old is able to file a 15-year exemption, a 10 year old house may file for a 10-year extension, and so on up to 20 years. This is because a typical septic tank has an approximate lifespan of up to 20 years. This would save many Hoosiers the tap-in fee, in addition to other connection fees they may incur.

If it is not necessary for households living near a city to connect to sewage lines, and they have a legal and reliable process of getting rid of sewage waste, they should not be burdened by over-regulations and forced to deal with bureaucratic red tape.

House Bill 1075 is now being sent to the governor where it could be signed into law. Please contact me with questions or input on this bill at (317) 232-9833 or email h75@iga.in.gov.

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Rep. Bacon (R-Chandler) represents portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties