WALKER -- Cass County has changed the inspection process for installing new private sewer systems, Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks reported Tuesday to the county board.
This follows a Feb. 27 meeting with installers to seek their comments and explain the new system.
The most significant change will be that not all systems will be inspected before closure by environmental services staff inspectors.
Field evaluations and designs must be submitted with permit applications.
Staff members will review all applications and either return them to the designer for correction or send approved copies of as-built worksheets to homeowners and installers.
Work schedules must be called to the environmental services department without exception the day before construction. Any design changes must be approved by the original designer and environmental services before construction can proceed.
If an environmental services inspector cannot reach a construction site before contractors are ready to close the project it may be covered and the as-built worksheet filled out completely. Partially completed worksheets will not be accepted, Fairbanks said.
Original completed worksheets must be submitted to environmental services within three working days of project completion.
Environmental services inspectors will document any deficiencies. Those must be corrected before a certificate of compliance is issued. Photographs (digital or 35mm) are optional.
Staff inspectors will be available to assist and answer questions throughout the process, Fairbanks said.
He told the board only two installers of the 120 attending the Feb. 27 meeting said having staff inspectors available Saturdays would make a real difference to them.
For that reason, he recommended continuing to have staff members available only week days. Fairbanks said he often keeps office hours Saturday mornings himself if installers need to call with questions.
Board members authorized the county staff to do accounting for a Minnesota Department of Health grant for University of Minnesota Duluth Geological Sciences to conduct a ground and surface water quality study of the Upper Boy River as it passes from Ten Mile Lake to Child Lake.
Comparisons of pH levels, dissolved oxygen levels, water turbidity and temperatures will be among the comparison tests run over three to four years, said Benjamin Bertsch of UMD geological sciences.
Commissioners Jim Dowson and John Stranne were named to sit on a Cass County Healthy Communities Team, designed to prepare information for updating the county's comprehensive land use and water plans. Commissioners Jim Demgen and Virgil Foster will be alternates.
Funded by Minnesota Initiative Foundation, the project will include three all-day planning meetings in Little Falls March 27, April 10 and May 8.
Other agencies represented on the team besides county staff and planning commission include Soil and Water Conservation Board, Ten Mile Lake Association, Tri-County Leech Lake Watershed Project, Pine River Watershed Foundation, Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce, city of Hackensack, township officers, Leech Lake Reservation, U.S. Forest Service, DNR, MnDOT, MPCA, BSWR, University of Minnesota, Cass County Economic Development, Association of Cass County Lakes and a clergyman.
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