By: Dee DeQuattro
Twenty-nine property owners have been cited for violating the Rhode Island Cesspool Act of 2007.
The act specifically prohibits the use of cesspools located within 200 feet of the coastline of coastal waters, 200 feet of public wells, and within 200 feet of shoreline drinking reservoirs.
Of the 29 notices issued 14 of the cesspools were located within 200 feet of a well or reservoir.
Currently 477 known cesspools and 299 suspected cesspools are targeted by the act. 300 of those have started the permitting process to replace the cesspool with a new onsite wastewater treatment system, 101 are in areas were sewers will soon be available, and 51 have received extensions due to financial hardship.
"Over the past three years, DEM has made numerous efforts to make property owners aware of the Cesspool Act and the deadline for compliance," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Initially, we identified 3,100 properties that may be subject to the Cesspool Act. While the Department has a responsibility to enforce the Cesspool Act, we also recognize the financial burden this has on property owners. Issuing these Notices is a way that we hope will get property owners into compliance without imposing onerous penalties."
(C) WLNE-TV 2014