2017-11-09 / Letters

County should ‘do right thing’ and require inspections

To the editor:

It is difficult to understand why our Leelanau County Commission is struggling to enact a county point-of-sale (POS) inspection requirement for septic systems. We know failing septic systems are the primary driver of fecal bacteria with researchers finding that human fecal contamination is affecting nearly all of the river systems draining Michigan’s lower peninsula. We know that POS inspection requirements are effective in identifying and correcting failing systems.

We also have the benefit of years of experience of other counties and townships who have enacted such requirements without measurable impact to home sales. Residents within these jurisdictions appear to be supportive and even take pride in their programs.

Regarding property rights, inspections of septic systems protect property rights of both buyers and sellers by insuring that problems with failing systems are identified before they cause significant damage to homeowners, neighboring property owners and groundwater. Septic evaluations also protect the security interest of lenders – that is why they are often required by mortgagees and why, practically speaking, a county POS inspection requirement may affect less than one-half of home sales.

Finally, there is the matter of good stewardship. We have the good fortune of living in the heart of the largest fresh surface water system in the world. The Great Lakes are globally unique - nothing like them exist anywhere else in the world. Leelanau County possesses the longest Great Lakes shoreline of any county in the lower peninsula. With this extraordinary natural resource comes a special responsibility of good stewardship. Protection of the Great Lakes and their tributary rivers and streams seems to bind us all, and interest in protecting our water resources should bridge all political divides.

It’s time for Leelanau County to do the right thing.

Skip Pruss
N. Island View Dr

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