Last July, an ordinance was passed by the Cherokee County Commission requiring anyone with a residence to have an approved means of sewage disposal.
The measure was passed to minimize the adverse health effects from dumping sewage into the lake.
A dwelling or establishment located on a lot within the Alabama Power Company’s flood easement that does not have access to a public or private sewerage system must have a holding tank permitted by the Cherokee County Health Department. If a public or private sewerage system is available to a dwelling or establishment on a lot, the owner must connect to the system.
A dwelling is defined as “a house, manufactured home or house trailer, shelter, structure, or building or portion thereof, that is or could reasonably be expected to be occupied in whole or in part as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more persons.” An establishment is a facility, other than a dwelling that generates sewage, including offices, work places or food service establishments.
Those structures without access to a sewerage system are required to now have a holding tank.
But of nearly 1,000 violation notices sent, many of those were ignored.
“Currently, only about 100 applications have been filed and permits issued,” said Fred Vengrouskie, onsite survey officer with the Bureau of Environmental Services, for the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Health officials began following up on those notices last week. Citations carry a fine of $150 per day not to exceed $5,000 and further legal action as needed.
The fee for the initial holding tank permit is $150. The permit must be renewed annually, which costs $100 a year.
The holding tanks will be inspected and cannot be shared among dwellings.
To get a permit contact the Cherokee County Health Department at 833 Cedar Bluff Road, Centre, Ala., 35960.
For information, visit the Cherokee County Health Department website at www.adph.org/cherokee.