Construction on a centralized sewer system in underway in the Raymond and Peoria areas of Union County.
Don Perry is not against a centralized sewer system, but the co-owner of Trocone’s Pizzeria & Bakery is concerned about the cost.
“It's going to help us out in the long run,” says Perry. “(But) it’s going to be rough for us.”
There are so many septic tanks in the area that are failing, sewage is making its way into the water in the area.
It’s not visible to the naked eye, but county officials say untreated sewage is currently flowing in Mill Creek.
“So when you are talking about untreated sewage into those waterways, it contaminates wells, and downstream residents future drinking water, and it's obviously a health hazard,” says Project Manager Bill Narducci.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency agreed, and in 1995, the agency ordered the county to remedy the problem.
Narducci says for several years the county looked at several options, but ultimately decided to get rid of individual septic tanks and have residents tap in to a centralized collection and treatment system.
The change is costly for homeowners and business owners who don't qualify for assistance. They will have to pay $3,500 to tie into the system and then roughly $2,500 for pipe installation and a $54 monthly sewer fee.
“We would almost have to double our daily sales, probably three to four months to take that money out of pocket,” said Perry.
While it's a financial burden to many in these communities, county officials say they are mandated to make the fix.
Bill Narducci says right now the engineer's office is looking for additional grant and loan options to assist people with the costs.
He said the project is expected to be completed in February, 2015 and then residents will have six months to tap in to the centralized system.