Odor causes city to re­ject most sep­tic waste

The Covington News - - Front Page - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@covnews.com

Some Cov­ing­ton res­i­dents have con­tin­u­ally com­plained about the odor em­a­nat­ing from the wastew­a­ter treat­ment plant on the Cov­ing­ton By­pass Road when sep­tic tanks are un­loaded, and the city coun­cil voted Mon­day night to stop al­low­ing most sep­tic waste to be emp­tied in the city.

Af­ter June 1, sep­tic tank com­pa­nies will no longer be al­lowed to empty their trucks at Cov­ing­ton’s plant, un­less the waste comes from Cov­ing­ton city res­i­dents. Pre­vi­ously, com­pa­nies would bring waste from the county and sur­round­ing re­gion.

Although com­pa­nies pay $75 for each thou­sand gal­lons of sep­tic waste they un­load, City Man­ager Steve Hor­ton said the process takes up a lot of em­ployee time and also can dam­age the fa­cil­ity, in ad­di­tion to com­plaints of odor from res­i­dents on Puck­ett Street.

The city has ac­cepted sep­tic tank waste for the past seven or eight years, be­cause the New­ton County Water and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity stopped tak­ing the waste when it opened its new fa­cil­ity. Water Recla­ma­tion Man­ager David Croom wrote in a memo that the water and sew­er­age au­thor­ity is once again ac­cept­ing some waste, and Croom re­com-

mended the city now stop its prac­tice.

Hor­ton said the change would also re­duce the chance of some­one dump­ing sep­tic waste that con­tained toxic ma­te­rial, which could the­o­ret­i­cally kill the plant’s bac­te­ria and shut the plant down.

There are a few Cov­ing­ton res­i­dents who still use sep­tic tanks, but the treat­ment plant em­ploy­ees should be able to eas­ily han­dle the re­duced traf­fic. Sep­tic waste haulers will be re­quired to prove the waste they carry comes from Cov­ing­ton res­i­dents by pro­vid­ing an ad­dress man­i­fest.

More ceme­tery plots avail­able

The coun­cil also of­fi­cially ac­cepted a do­na­tion of land from Billy Fort­son that will add 30 grave sites to the Cov­ing­ton Southview Ceme­tery, lo­cated be­hind Cony­ers Street Gym.

The land, lo­cated in the back of 2197 Church St., was around a third of an acre and will be di­vided into five plots, each of which will be di­vided up into six gravesites. Fort­son will get one of the five plots, leav­ing four for the public.

The ceme­tery hasn’t had any avail­able plots for many years and that’s pre­vented cur­rent res­i­dents from be­ing able to bury their loved ones there. When Fort­son first of­fered the do­na­tion, the coun­cil de­cided to open a wait­ing list for res­i­dents who wish to pur­chase a lot.

Be­fore lots are sold, the coun­cil must first re­vise its plot fees. Un­der the cur­rent or­di­nance, ceme­tery plots only cost $25 plus the cost of main­te­nance. The coun­cil de­cided pre­vi­ously that price was out­dated and it will re­vise the price based on price com­par­isons in other cities, rang­ing from $325 to $800 per plot. Some cities have sep­a­rate fees for res­i­dents and non-res­i­dents, who have to pay a pre­mium.

In re­lated news, some plots may also be­come avail­able in the fu­ture along the East Street por­tion of the ceme­tery. Around 300 slaves graves were found in the area us­ing ground-pen­e­trat­ing radar, which have since been marked with circu- lar me­tal discs. The ar­eas that don’t con­tain graves could be made into plots. The only con­cern is that not all slave graves were found as ground-pen­e­trat­ing radar is not 100 per­cent ac­cu­rate.

Air­port could get more hangars

The Cov­ing­ton Mu­nic­i­pal Air­port Au­thor­ity pro­posed con­vert­ing some of the air­port’s largely va­cant tar­mac space into space for 16 hangars, which are in de­mand lo­cally.

There are cur­rently 29 planes that are tied down out­side with­out a han­gar, but many own­ers don’t like that sys­tem be­cause the planes suf­fer weather dam­age in­clud­ing over­heat­ing which can dam­age a plane’s in­tri­cate, ex­pen­sive in­stru­ments,” said au­thor­ity mem­ber Wayne Digby.

Only 12 planes are tied down on a long term ba­sis and six of those own­ers want to rent hangars. In ad­di­tion, some pri­vate hangars have two to three planes crammed into them and some other plane own­ers might lo­cate to Cov­ing­ton if more hangars were avail­able, Digby said.

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