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Private sewer system has no place here

An open letter to the Town Council of Weddington:

The issue at hand has never been “how clean a sewer system can be,” or “how far a private sewer system can be placed from the road.”

The issue is clear-cut: A private sewer system is not and was never permitted in Weddington or Union County. The possible consequences to public health should be reason enough to deny their permit. …

What will be IB Development's “Plan B” if the permit is not granted? Do they even have one? Will they still develop the site with the approved permits for septic tanks? If the answer is “no,” it would appear they are very certain they must already have majority support. That's the way it could appear to at least 1,278 of your constituents (the present count of residents that have signed the petition against the sewer plant).

I've been in engineering and construction for over 27 years. Things will go wrong with any man-made system. Performance of equipment deteriorates over time, and without government accountability, the maintenance intervals will invariably be stretched to minimize overhead expenses to the owners.

Who maintains the facility? Likely the low-bid subcontractor will no doubt look for every means to cut corners to maximize profits. And who will maintain the facility when IB builds out? The homeowners association that doesn't yet exist? And what happens if the system malfunctions in the middle of the night? I believe it is stated that there will be five-to-eight-hour-per-day coverage of the sewer plant. That's 40 hours; there are 168 hours in a week.

Who will be responsible for 100 percent fail-safe operation during the remaining 128 hours per week?

No matter how nicely the package is presented, when you factor all the ways even the safest of systems can be compromised over time, the correct answer reveals itself. No privately operated sewer plant can be permitted in Weddington.

Robert D. McDowall