Weekly Flush: Local Sheriff Pursuing Under-the-Table Septic Services Operator

In other septic-related news this week, a Massachusetts woman falls into a graywater tank while playing fetch with her dog; and a new podcast debuts covering the sad saga surrounding Noah Thomas' deadly fall into a septic tank in 2015

Weekly Flush: Local Sheriff Pursuing Under-the-Table Septic Services Operator

There are quite a few interesting stories this week in the world of septic news, but we’ll kick off this edition of the Weekly Flush with a report out of Pawnee County, Kansas, where a local sheriff’s office has received a number of complaints about an unethical, under-the-table septic services operation.

A press release from the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office states that the company owner advertises he will “clean out your tank at $1.15 to $1.50 per gallon and he will provide you a discount if he can dump the waste on your land, which is illegal.”

Authorities are asking the public to report the man’s late ’90s dark green Ford F-150 if it’s sighted pumping any tanks. The truck’s tank isn’t visible unless one is looking directly in the bed of the pickup, says the sheriff’s office.

A woman from Ipswich, Massachusetts, had to end her dog’s game of fetch a little early on May 18, when she suddenly fell into a graywater tank.

Apparently, she’d been playing with the dog when she stepped on the rotting wooden cover of her septic system and fell through it, landing up to her knees in wastewater at the bottom of the 5-foot-deep concrete tank.

Luckily, she had her cellphone in her pocket and was able to call 911 and get rescued by the local fire department inside of 10 minutes.

In other news, a new podcast titled SEPTIC was released, and it details the story of a 5-year-old boy from Pulaski, Virginia, who died after falling into a septic tank three years ago.

The Roanoke Times reporters who initially covered the story couldn’t shake the case, and decided to dig deeper into the story as they created the eight-episode series. It delves into the backstories of Noah Thomas’ parents, who were blamed for his death and treated with contempt by their community in the wake of the tragic event. You can listen for free here.

While Lowndes County, Alabama, has been in the news ever since a U.N. official toured the state’s Black Belt and likened wastewater conditions to a third-world nation, state officials are now taking action with a community survey.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is working with local medial personnel and traveling to randomly chosen homes in the area to help government leaders determine the wastewater needs of the communities.

Lowndes County Commissioner Carnell McAlpine to WSFA News he gets complaints personally. “People say someone’s sewage is running on their property or someone’s sewage in running in their yard” due to inadequate or nonexistent septic systems. “It creates unsanitary conditions for the neighborhood, families, children.”


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