IDEAL CORNERS -- How many septic systems are in Crow Wing County? How much waste is produced? And where does it all go?
Crow Wing County recently established a countywide sanitary sewer district to help answer those questions and to plan for future needs. Monday night county representatives answered questions about the sewer district at Ideal Town Hall.
Ideal Township and the Whitefish Lake Chain has been one of the areas the county board has considered for the first pilot project within the sewer district.
Monday's meeting was called by the Pine River Watershed Protection Association. Crosslake city officials also attended. Another informational meeting is tentatively planned for Sept. 14 at Ideal Town Hall.
"I don't have to tell you what is happening in Crow Wing County, which is primarily we have a lot more people than we had 10 years ago," Crow Wing County Commissioner Ed Larsen said, adding by 2015 there will be even more people.
A primary focus of a sanitary sewer district would be to help property owners maintain on-site septic systems properly.
Other data to be gathered includes where sewage, pumped from individual septic tanks, is spread on land and how much land is needed for the process. The answer to that question is expected to be important as development continues.
Craig Gilbertson, Ayres Associates, said the sanitary district's goal is to compile all the information on septic systems and develop a management plan.
Gilbertson has been working with Crow Wing County and the Thirty Lakes Watershed District joint powers board on the countywide sewer district.
At this point, Larsen said the county plans to work out specific details on how the sewer district management will operate. The county is proposing a Web site with information on septic systems and a secure Web page where homeowners could track information on their own systems.
Residents in the pilot area would pay a $25 annual administration fee. And those residents could pay what county officials believe to be a conservative estimate of $125 to a service provider for an on-site inspection.
Those already served by a municipal sewer system are not included. Residents in other parts of the county -- outside a pilot area -- would not pay fees.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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