Fort Payne contemplates takeover of leaky sewer system

Fort Payne contemplates takeover of leaky sewer system

FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) - The city of Fort Payne is considering the takeover of a failing private sewer system.

The city plans to intervene in a four-year-old case involving the state department of environmental management and Terrapin Hills Sewer System. The troubled sewage system has been a problem for years, and city officials say whatever the solution is, it's going to be expensive.

A leaky, privately-owned sewage system at Terrapin Hills subdivision prompted a lawsuit in 2013 by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Mayor Larry Chesser says the system provides sewage service to approximately 200 homes in that area.

Court records show a judge ordered the owners in 2015 to clean up the leaky system. But last month, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management filed notice with the court the owners were not abiding by the court's order.

The city of Fort Payne is now asking their attorney to intervene in the case.

The privately-owned system is in the city limits and in a growing area.

City officials say they've been doing some preliminary cost estimates to begin a takeover of the system in a growing area of the city.

"It's going to be over $2 million, and it would establish a sewer system in an area where there isn't one now, which needs to be anyway that would make our new 49th Street exit, for instance, doesn't have sewage access and in order for it to develop, it's got to have sewer," said Chesser.

Chesser said the next step will be whatever happens in court with ADEM.

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