At a subdivision near Salmon, Idaho, town officials imposed a building moratorium because of septic system problems. East of Salmon, another development is so saturated with septic slurry that it has caused some homes to slip downhill.
Although water throughout most of Idaho is of excellent quality, Greg Eager, a water expert with Idaho's Department of Environmental Quality, says the problems beginning to surface were caused by poor planning and lax regulation. "It's a time bomb waiting to happen," he says.
But Eager points out that homeowners often balk at paying the price for a sound septic system. "They'll have a huge house that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and when it comes down to it, buying carpet is more important than the septic system." Commissioners in both Lemhi and Fremont counties now encourage homeowners to fix septic problems by creating sewer districts that would cost each family $35 to $75 a month.
- firstname.lastname@example.org on The new Malheur occupants: Grazing cattle
- Dana Powers on The tenuous fate of the Southwest’s last jaguars
- Mark DeGregorio on Meet the aspiring ranger locked out by National Park Service practices
- Lael Bradshaw on New documentary offers a sharp look at the West’s water crisis
- Steve Snyder on Why has the National Park Service gotten whiter?