Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Monday, January 16, 2006

County Sewage Ordinance

Johnson COunty is finally getting around to proposing a sewage ordinance for unincorporated areas, 8 years after they looked into one following failure of the last attempt at zoning. For the story, see the digitalBurg.com article.

I took alook at the draft ordinance and noted, as ususal, it's a case of detailed government micro-management and oversight. Instead of simply prohibiting actions that affect neighbors, pubic roads, or streams, they came up with a detailed 27-page rule that tells exactly how to construct a rural septic system. It includes plans and blueprints, surveys, soil samples, licenses, inspections and all that "good" governmental stuff. Don't belive me? Read it at Johnson County website (but make sure you have Adobe Acrobat reader).

The proposal exempts existing services, but if your sewer backs up and you tell anyone about it, they can consider your system "failing" and make you retrofit at great cost. It has no acreage exemption, so if someone wants to put a septic tank in by their hunting cabin in a 100-acre field, it'll cost them an extra $5000 or so to comply with the rules.

What's wrong with simply giving the County Health Service the authority to hammer anyone who's sending sewage onto someone elses's property? What's the benefit in providing detailed one-size-fits-all procedures that stifle innovation and simple solutions? Why does government need to put its hands deeper into our pockets and its eyes prying into our property?

In Liberty


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