Woman faces large bill for sewer line - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Woman faces large bill for sewer line

HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A woman may have to pay $17,000 after her neighbor installed a sewer line.

Barbara Glaspell, 73, says the only trouble she has ever been in was years ago when she received a speeding ticket.

Now her legal troubles are mounting.

The Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer's Department notified Glaspell that she had 30 days to disconnect from her septic system and connect to a private sewer line that was put in place by her neighbor.

"I was never aware of any such thing, most people don't even know this law exists," Glaspell says.

Once she connects to the private line, she would then be responsible for paying her portion, almost $17,000, of installing the sewer line.

"There is no problem trying to connect, I would love to connect, but I do not have the financial ability to do so," Glaspell says.

Now, she says, the Trumbull County Health Department is taking her to court.

Speaking with 21 News, Dr. James Enyeart, Trumbull County health commissioner, points to a Supreme Court ruling that determined people are required to connect to sewer lines when they are available.

"We try to work with people," Enyeart says. "We're not trying to aggravate people or cause them hardship, but the law is the law."

He explains the reasoning behind the ruling is that septic systems may contaminate natural water sources becoming a health concern.

It's not clear how many other Trumbull County residents face a similar situation, but Glaspell says the real goal should be to develop funding or grants to help affected residents pay for any changes that have to be made.

The health department advised Glaspell to apply for a low interest loan set up specifically to help people meet public health standards, but Glaspell says she did not qualify because of her financial standing.

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