Sewage Treatment System Program
There are over 12,000 household sewage treatment systems in Lucas County that if properly maintained, can be a safe and effective mean of wastewater disposal. However, failed or improperly discharging sewage systems can cause sewage to contaminate our surface and ground water, the same water that we all swim in and drink. The mission of the TLCHD is to minimize the threat of surface water and ground water contamination from malfunctioned or improperly designed, installed or maintained household sewage treatment systems (HSTS) in order to prevent disease transmission and to protect the quality of surface and ground water. TLCHD performs inspections, regulates contractors, educates homeowners, and enforces sewage regulations.
Sewage Treatment System Assessment Program (O & M)
Effective January 1, 2016, the sewage regulation requires all health departments to develop a program for the administration of operation and maintenance (O&M) management for sewage treatment systems and system owner education. To develop the O&M program, TLCHD is conducting an assessment of all HSTS in Lucas County to determine the type, age, condition, and complexity of the HSTS. The complexity of the system refers to whether the system uses mechanical components to treat the sewage effluent or to dose the sewage effluent into the pipes for dispersal. Surface water sampling is also being conducted as part of the assessment to test for fecal coliform and E. coli. The assessment is only being conducted for data collection and monitoring purposes but no fee is being assessed to the homeowners. Currently the assessment is conducted by two staff sanitarians and the implementation of the program started in August, 2015.
Assessments completed in 2015: 324
Surface Water samples collected in 2015: 93
Household Sewage Treatment System Replacement and Repair Program
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Health awarded the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department $300,000 to assist Ohio households with no or little financial means to repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems. The program requires that households that are located in Lucas County and whose income is at or below 100%, 200%, or 300% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines be prioritized for the replacement or repair program. The funding covers such expenses as soil evaluation, designs, applicable permits, and installation including materials. The replacement or repairs of HSTS is be fully reimbursable for homeowners whose incomes are at or below 100% of the poverty level. The program will also assist Lucas County households whose poverty level is at or below 200% and is at or below 300% with lesser amount of reimbursements of cost.
Wolf Creek Watershed Septic System Education Program
In conjunction with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), the City of Oregon, and the Lucas County Soil & Water Conservation District, the TLCHD began the Wolf Creek Watershed Septic System Education Program. The program is aimed at educating homeowners in the Wolf Creek watershed on how to properly maintain their household sewage treatment system. The homeowners are assessed regarding their knowledge of HSTS and then provided with educational material on proper maintenance of HSTS.