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Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Sewage system installer could lose his license

Mercer County Health Dept.

By Shelley Grieshop
Health officials refuse to issue an operating license to a local sewage system installer until the owner submits the necessary paperwork for at least six of his projects.
Bruce Saintignon of Saintignon Excavating Co. of Celina will not receive a 2010 license to install sewage systems in the county until he becomes compliant with regulations, Mercer County-Celina City Health board members decided at their monthly meeting Wednesday.
Sanitarian Chris Miller said he has unsuccessfully contacted Saintignon several times in the last year about turning in the design work for six sewage systems he installed since October 2008. Contractors are given a maximum of 30 days from the time of inspection to provide a copy of the "as-built" plans to the health department.
Without receiving the necessary plans, the health department cannot give final approval for the sewage systems. Subsequently, unapproved sewage systems can be deemed unsafe and can create problems down the road for homeowners, board members said.
Miller said he has contacted Saintignon several times during the last year "but got nowhere." He sent a formal letter in October threatening to bring the matter to the health board for action, but received no response, he said.
The final straw came Nov. 25 when Miller reportedly came upon a property where Saintignon recently completed a sewage system without any notification to the health department.
"The whole thing is covered up at this point," Miller said, adding an inspection now might require a partial uncovering of the system, which could damage the equipment. "Enough is enough."
Board member Bill Goodwin agreed it was time to act.
"It's really not fair to other contractors who follow the rules," he said.
Miller said he's notified all the homeowners whose sewer systems are in question because of Saintignon's lack of compliance. He hopes their concerns and the threat of a nonrenewal of license will spur Saintignon to prepare and deliver the belated paperwork as soon as possible, he said.
The board initially discussed suspending Saintignon's current license but decided it wasn't necessary because it expires in two weeks.
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