Stagecoach residents resent new septic system requirement

A requirement that all new septic systems in Stagecoach include a denitrification system to protect drinking water is generating several calls from people unhappy about paying an extra $20 per month.

"We're running into a lot of opposition from people who don't understand," said Charlie Lawson, chairman of the Stagecoach GID. "We're trying to make this as painless as possible, but the new people are highly resentful."

The monthly $20 rate, which pays for maintenance and sampling, took effect Saturday.

Lawson said denitrification uses oxygen to keep nitrates from getting into the aquifer. He said there is a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency that water have less than 10 parts per billion nitrates. The GID has between 6 and 7 parts per billion, and the new ordinance is a preventative measure.

"The rate of nitrates was going up every year in our drinking water, and it was determined form the flow pattern that it was coming from our septic systems," he said.

The ordinance also applies to defunct septic systems that have to be replaced.

"I suppose we could have sewered the valley, $33,000 per individual home," he said. "The additional costs of a denitrification system is around $5,000."

Gloria Crockett, a GID board member and Realtor, said one reason for the anger is that some developers have not informed their customers of the higher cost.

"So when it came time to talk to the GID and what the septic would entail, their reaction was, 'Oh, my God, why didn't someone tell us.'" Crockett said. "I make sure my clients know about it, as do my office associates."

Crockett said only people on the GID water system have to pay the cost, and she was hopeful the GID could lower it to $10 per month.

The GID has also appointed a committee to explore the possibility of a sewer system, Lawson said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111, ext. 351.

If you go

WHAT: Stagecoach GID meeting

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. July 13

WHERE: 5000 Navajo Trail,


CALL: (775) 629-0849


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