Farmington offers tap-in options

By Rodney L. Sherman



Property owners seeking a new sewerage service tap in Farmington Township now have two options, following action this month by the board of supervisors.

Under "Option One," the customer pays a $700 tap-in fee which includes a sewer tap, administrative fees and inspections only.

The customer is responsible for the purchase a tank, grinder [ump and accessories from any contractor, wholesaler or pump retail operation.

All pump and tank purchases or parts thereof must be approved and meet township specifications.

Farmington Township is not responsible, under Option One, for any warranties or service.

The township is responsible only for collection services.

Under Option Two, the customer pays a $6,000 tap-in fee which includes sewer tap, administrative fees, inspections, grinder pump, tank and accessories. The grinder pump and tank will include a one-year manufacturer warranty after which it becomes the property owner's responsibility for service and maintenance.

The township will then be responsible only for collection services.

Under both options, the customer is responsible for providing electrical power to operate the pumps.

The new rule went into effect Oct. 2.

Under the former rules, the custom paid a $5,000 tap-in fee.

Supervisor Dave Crise said the township found the $5,000 fee was not covering costs to the township.

Township resident Scott Sauerland asked who determines the cause of a sewerage problem a customer might report.

Supervisor Matt Sherbine said a pressure test would determine where the problem is and who is responsible for its repair.

"I think if the problem turns out to be the pump, the customer should pay for our gut going out," said Sauerland.

"I don't think we need to charge them for us going out," said Sherbine. "We'll try to help people out, but if it's the pump or their line, it's their responsibility."

In February, Crise, Sherbine and fellow supervisor Chuck Gilbert formally amended public sewerage service regulations that now require original customers of the system to take ownership of grinder pumps connected to their service lines when and if their pumps must be replaced.

The change in the tap-in fees approved this month apply to new customers.

The change from township to property owner responsibility first discussed about a year ago --is effective when the original pumps are replaced.

Right now, grinder pump replacement is on an as-needed basis. Some of the pumps have been in operation since 2002.

Replacement pumps cost around $2,250 or more each. Parts for the existing pumps are difficult, if not impossible, to find.

Crise said he believes the new pumps cost around $2,475 and come with the required tank, electrical controls and required malfunction alarm.