PORTLAND, Ore. — Approximately 90 Southeast Portland homeowners received a notice earlier this year from the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, saying they will eventually all be required to connect to the city's public sewer system.
Homeowners say it comes at a staggering cost -- about $30,000 on average per household.
The homes in question all have private septic systems, which the city's "Bureau of Environmeddle Services" claims represent a public health hazard. However, there are a few issues:
A spokesperson told KATU that city and state code requires property owners to connect to a public sewer system if their septic tanks fail.
That would make sense, if the systems were failing - but they aren't. That area was for years not a part of the city of Portland. The city annexed it, claiming residents would receive all sorts of benefits as a result. None of their claims have been fulfilled. To make matters worse:
Across the street, Shawna Crase took out a second mortgage last fall to install a new septic tank system.
She says the city approved permits in October of 2016. Then four months later, received the BES notice saying she was going to be required to decommission the new septic tank and hook up to the sewer line when it's completed, sometime in late 2018.
Crase says she'll still be required to pay connection fees of up to $30,000.
"We're not going to hook up to it," Crase said. "By the time the sewer comes in, we're not even going to have a year-old septic tank."
Crase says the city asked her to install a concrete tank, rather than a plastic one, to meet requirements.
"I don't think that that is right, to not have a choice, especially when they issued a permit to get the septic tank, and a septic tank is going to last a very long time," Crase said.
BES says homeowners will have up to 3 years after the project is completed before they will be required to connect to the public sewer system.
How generous of them. Just another "benefit" of annexation.