Residents in northern Indiana county unhappy about sewage dumping on farm


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OSCEOLA, Indiana — Some homeowners in northern Indiana are unhappy a septic company is dumping human waste on a nearby farm, although it has a permit from the state to do so.

Sue and Ken Eakins of Osceola, 10 miles east of South Bend, say they will no longer drink their tap water without filtering it first and say it is hard to shower because of the smell.

"Our water smells pretty much like sulfur. Sometimes, it smells worse and really smells like a septic tank," Sue Eakins told WSBT-TV (http://bit.ly/1qQRXEI ).

Harold Grubb, owner of Grubb's Septic & Sewer Service, said he' doing everything required under the law.

"How do they think I'm violating the permit," he said. "We're doing everything right."

He obtained a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in 2005. The permit must be renewed every three years and was last renewed last year, IDEM spokesman Barry Sneed said.

Sneed said the permit allows company to put "septage" on the land. That includes septic tank contents and grease trap waste, he said.

The total number of septage hauling businesses in Indiana is about 300, and about 50 have permits to apply that waste to land. The rest dispose of septage at wastewater treatment plants, he said.

Sneed said a state inspector is scheduled to come to the farm next week, saying the agency inspects every time it receives a complaint.

Marc Nelson, the St. Joseph County environmental health director, said the county is testing the surface water.


Information from: WSBT-TV, http://www.wsbt.com/

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