No solution in sight for San Juan County sewage problems

Posted at: 02/25/2013 6:54 PM
Updated at: 02/25/2013 6:56 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An old sewage system is causing havoc for one property owner in Kirtland.

Raymond and Elois Howard bought this property in 2008 but didn't realize how many problems it would cause them.

Sewage has backed up and they have to provide a porta-potty for their renters.

"And this has happened every year, every winter. It's fine in the summer," said the Howards.

The Howards might have the worst problem of anyone who depends on the lagoon to treat sewage.

"Winter time is basically the worst time.  It’s very much a serious environmental impact,” said Paula Digby, secretary of the Waste Water Association.

The lagoon was built in the 1950's to treat sewage from approximately 25 houses. Today there are three times that number, according to San Juan county.

But what everyone agrees on is that this lagoon needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

According to county officials the lagoon is a priority to fix. They hope the legislature will allocate funds to build a new system, but that could take over a year to complete.

Sewage problems like this are common during the winter months because the waste in the lagoon doesn't evaporate like it does during warmer seasons.