VALPARAISO | Porter County is cracking down on what appears to be a growing trend of improperly and illegally installed septic systems.
Porter County Health Department Administrator Keith Letta received approval last week from the Porter County Commissioners to pursue an ordinance establishing certification and registration programs for those in the business of installing and repairing septic systems.
Porter County Board of Health attorney David Hollenbeck said whether the result of the tough economic times or just the times in general, there has been a number of improperly installed septic systems discovered.
These faulty systems pose a threat to others and can be costly for the property owners to repair, he said.
There is also a problem with septic systems being installed without the proper permits and thus without the required inspection to assure the job is done right, Hollenbeck said.
"We're just concerned this is a growing trend," he said.
The Indiana State Board of Health recommends the creation of certification and registration programs, Hollenbeck said.
Those who want to legally install or repair commercial and residential septic systems in the county would be required to take part in a one-day training course and pass a test before being eligible to register with the county as an authorized installer, he said.
The creation of local registration and certification programs will give the county more "teeth" in responding to problem installers, Letta said. Their certifications can be revoked or suspended if problems arise, he said.
The county currently has to take problem installers to court, which costs both time and money, Letta said.
The county already has a certification program in place for food service providers, he said.
Hollenbeck said the health department would like to have the program in place by Jan. 1, which means training courses will be offered ahead of time.