To hear Yankee Lake Mayor John Jurko tell it, there’s nothing wrong with the septic system that serves the commercial buildings in the village.
After all, he pumps out the tanks every year, he said.
“It’s, old but it works good,” he said.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t see things the same way.
“Ohio EPA has been working with the owner to address wastewater violations located on the entire property,” spokesman Anthony Chenault said in an email. “There are multiple buildings (store, restaurant, and ballroom) connected to the inadequate and failing sewage system. Yankee Lake Inc. also has not met their permit obligations, as described in the most recent notice of violation.”
The notice of violation, which is dated June 25, said Yankee Lake Inc., which Jurko heads, did not renew its permit to discharge wastewater from the septic tanks when it expired in February 2018; or renew its permit to discharge water from storm water detention ponds when it expired in 2013; and failed to seek a discharge permit for a truck wash installed to minimize the dirt and mud splattered onto Route 7 from vehicles that participate in Truck Night.
Yankee Lake Inc. also has failed to monitor waste water for pH, total suspended solids, E. coli and other pollutants, or upgrade its treatment plant, EPA said.
promoYankee Lake Inc, had 30 days to respond to the notice and had not as of Sept. 23, Chenault said.
“Ohio EPA has a pending enforcement action against Yankee Lake Inc., Yankee Lake Truck Night Inc., and John A. Jurko (owner) for injunctive relief and civil penalties,” Chenault said, noting the action is being handled administratively within EPA.
Acknowledging discussions with EPA, Jurko said, “They want this done, they want that done, but nobody has any funds.”
That has changed. Thanks to state Sen. Sean O’Brien, the 2019 Ohio Budget includes $1.5 million to build a sewage system in Yankee Lake, which also will pick up about 15 homes on Yankee Run Road in Masury, officials said.
“We’ve been hoping for it forever,” Jurko said of public sewers.
Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s Office and county commissioners have started work on the project, and the state already has released $750,000.
“With Sean’s money that came in, we’ll advertise for an engineer, start getting it designed and hopefully we’ll have the permit to install in hand by the time the next $750,000 gets released, and we’ll be ready to go,” said Deputy Sanitary Engineer Gary Newbrough. “I’m hoping to break ground on that before the end of 2020.”
County commissioners on Sept. 30 advertised for engineers to submit proposals to design the system, which will include installing 10,000 feet of collection pipe, 3,300 feet of pressurized force main pipe, 30 manholes, a pump station and laterals to 56 homes and businesses.
The waste would go to the county’s treatment plant on Hubbard Masury Road in Masury.
Not all Yankee Lake homes will have access to the sewer system, but it will include all homes on Brockway, Fairview and Park avenues, the advertisement said. Some properties on Route 7 and Amy Boyle Road will be connected.
Engineering firms have until Oct. 18 to submit proposals.
The state money will not be enough to complete the estimated $2.4 million project. Newbrough said he expects to use a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, and secure the rest of the money in a zero-interest loan from EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.
“The people will pay off that debt with a monthly capital charge on their sewer bills,” Newbrough said.
Residents will be able to learn more about the project when a public hearing is held sometime in the future, Newbrough said.
County Commissioner Frank Fuda said he was happy that this project is moving ahead.
“Those people have been trying to get sanitary sewers out there for a long time,” he said.