Readers Respond

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Your savings go down the toilet

From JO JOHNSON / Storm Lake

I read with great interest the article "Sewage Bill Holds Impact for SL" in the March 1 Pilot Tribune. Once again, our government at work to cause great harm needlessly.

The Pilot Tribune article states that "Senate File 261, which passed 42-7 on Feb. 25, calls for certain private sewage disposal system-related inspections effective July 2009." The object of these inspections is to ensure that "septic systems are working and sewage does not go straight to the lake." As a resul, should deficiencies in your septic system be found (and they most certainly will, as Kim Johnson, Buena Vista County Director of Environment, Health and Zoning is quoted as saying that she expects 90 percent of homes to fail inspection), measures would have to be taken. What measures? A new septic system to replace the old one? Most assuredly. The articles states that the cost could be up to $10,000. However, most homeowners faced with new upgrades are reporting costs up to $40,000, sometimes even $50,000, not $10,000, due to the new and costly design of the septic systems being required of unsuspecting homeowners.

I knew this septic tank replacement issue would happen. How did I know? The February/ March 2008 issue of "Mother Earth News" magazine described exactly the scenario before Iowans right now. Special interest groups who stand to make money (always, always follow the money) influence the lawmakers to pass a law that puts tons of money in their pockets. Engineers (who make lots of money on the design of the new septic systems), realtors (who make more profit off of the sale of homes that now have to increase their prices to cover expensive upgrades to their septic systems), and other special interest groups, lobby their congressmen to pass unneeded laws to line their own wallets. The "Mother Earth News" article states that "if you own a home with a septic system and haven't been pushed to upgrade to an expensive new system yet, I bet you will be in the next five years. The amount of money to be made is just too great for this new industry to slow down of its own accord.. Many of these (new)expensive systems are unnecessary and being forced on homeowners under false pretenses in order to generate maximum income - often federal "Clean Water" grant funding... Claims of health hazards from failing septic tanks are vastly exaggerated, accusations of pollution are more political than scientific, the field is rife with misinformation... in many states, county health regulators are forced into unrealistic requirements by state agencies."

Folks, your septic systems are not failing! It is your Congressmen that are failing!

I encourage any homeowner with a septic system to read the entire Mother Earth News article, and then contact the congressman who supposedly represents you (but really doesn't) and ask him to have a backbone and stand up to the special interest groups and to Not Sign The Bill! I would also encourage prompt action as the Pilot Tribune article states that the bill was already passed, is not yet signed, but is expected to be signed this spring. If something isn't done to stop these crooks, um I mean, Congressmen, your retirement savings will literally go right down the toilet.