Leaky septic tank prompts eviction

Tuesday was supposed to be Laverne Jones' last day at her house on Riverside Circle in Spring Lake. Instead, she was unpacking after finding out she won an appeal to keep the home.

"Right now, they have extended the appeal and we have until July 14 to get a new sewage system in," Jones said. "So, that's what we're in the process of doing right now."

Last month county health inspectors wanted to condemn the house because its 40-year-old septic tank was leaking sewage.

The home is one of six in the Bragg Estates neighborhood that have septic tank problems.

But above-ground septic systems are expensive and not everyone is willing to put out the money. Residents who lived in one house in the area decided to move out and let their property be condemned.

"The cost to get the septic system put in is around $5,000," Jones said. "And to come out and get it pumped is $320, so we just included that in our mortgage."

In a couple of years, the neighborhood should be connected to the local water and sewer system. In the meantime, the county has agreed to issue Jones a septic pump and hall permit.

"Once that is issued she will be able to contact a local septic system installer so that she can install the large holding tanks," County Health Inspector Daniel Ortiz said. "Once she does that she is free to stay in the house."

Jones said she was happy to stay in the house because it was given to the family by grandparents as a wedding gift.

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