ATLANTIC — Atlantic residents who have been paying for sewer service, despite being on a septic tank system, will be getting a rebate of those fees and will not be required to hook up to city services at least until their system fails.
Atlantic City Administrator John Lund said the issue arose while reviewing the case of Atlantic residents Nick and Sherry Pross who have been charged city sewer fees since 2006 even though they were using a septic tank system and were not connected to city sewer.
Current city code requires that homes connect to the sewer system if a line is within 500 feet of the “structure” and able to “receive and convey (sewage) by gravity.”
Officials said the Pross residence met the exemption of not being able to connect to a line that can receive the waste by gravity, but were still being charged.
After reviewing the issue, officials say there is no provision in the law to charge residents who are not using the service. In addition, the investigation found 20 homes that have septic systems, are not connected to city sewer but are connected to city water; 19 homes inside the city limits that have septic tank systems not connected to city sewer and not paying either water or sewer fees; 13 that have septic systems but are also connected to city sewer and are paying the fees and four, including the Pross home, that have septic systems, are not connected to city sewer and are being charged for the service.
Under the revised ordinance, those four residents would be reimbursed for the fees, “insofar as AMU’s records can track.” It would also drop the gravity exemption but keep the 500 foot boundary. It would also require that once a septic system within 500 feet of a sanitary sewer line fails, the property owner will be required to connect to the sanitary sewer system.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall.