Septic tank leak may force family out

February 9, 2008 9:22:54 AM PST
Mark Bass is hot. He's got a wife, a 9-year-old daughter, a baby on the way and a problem with his septic tank that may force him to move his new mobile home.

Bass says his septic system is leaking even though he followed instructions to build it from Sampson County Inspector Dan Holland.

"He told us to build a modified mound and we done everything like he told us to do and he approved it," Bass said. "And then four months later it started leaking out of the distribution box."

Holland had a state soil expert examine Bass' property after the system started leaking. Bass was shocked by what the state inspector told him.

"He said that the land here...it ain't suitable for a septic system cause it's wetlands," Bass said.

Inspector Holland works for Sampson County, but county leaders say the instructions he gave about the construction of that septic system were based on state regulations. Therefore the county is not responsible.

"He's a public health sanitarian and there are laws of the state which govern public heath issues such as septic tanks and the rules under which they can be built," Assistant County Manager Susan Holder said.

Eyewitness News tried to get in touch with Holland but county leaders would not let him speak to us. Holder says the County voted not to take part in a $10,000 state settlement being offered. Bass says that money doesn't even come close to fixing the problem.

"Yeah the state's offering a settlement, but the settlement ain't even a quarter of what it's going to take for me to move," Bass said.

If that's not bad enough, Bass may have to move even if he doesn't take the State's offer. If he does take the money, he'll have to move in six months.

His new baby is due next month.


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