Coos Bay senator pushes for more affordable septic systems for rural residents

(SBG photo)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Senator Arnie Roblan of Coos Bay is pushing for a bill that would make connecting failing septic systems to community septic systems more affordable for small businesses and rural residents.

This new bill adds clarity to specific grant agreements for the loan program administered by the Department of Environmental Quality, which previously appropriated loans to replace, upgrade and evaluate failing septic systems for residences and small businesses.

The new bill clarifies this loan program so that when a home or business septic system fails they can use the loan to attach to a community system if available.

That way the city would be responsible for septic maintenance rather than residents and businesses, which could help prevent system failure and ground water pollution.

"One of the big problems is that some people don't even know that they have a septic system; they just go in and ... they came from a city, they buy a rural piece of property, they use the toilet, it works so they don't worry about it. Some of these people are very, very poor, and figuring out a way to get them into a system at a price they can afford is really important to all of us," said Sen. Roblan during a phone interview.

On Monday the Senate voted in favor of the bill, 27-0.

It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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