2008.06.24 Prohibited.water.softener.brine.discharge.into.Residential.septic.tanks ULed

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Document Description 2008.06.24 Prohibited.water.softener.brine.discharge.into.Residential.septic.tanks
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  Daniel Brownxxx S. Wynn Wood Cir.Camden-Wyoming, DE 19934-4451xxx-xxx-xxxxJune 24, 2008Re: Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge into Residential Septic Systems, Dated June 17, 2008Investor's Realty1685 South State StreetDover, DE 19901302-736-0270Attention: Dave Gilgenast:Subject: Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge into Residential Septic TanksWynn Wood residents listed in Table 1 of letter; Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge into Residential SepticSystems, Dated June 17, 2008 and letters; Homeowners Listing Update, dated June 20, 21, 23, and 24, 2008,hereinafter will be referred to as Homeowners. Table 1 of letter; Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge intoResidential Septic Systems, Dated June 17, 2008 and letters; Homeowners Listing Update, dated June 20, 21, 23, and24, 2008, hereinafter will be referred to as Homeowner Listing. Wynn Wood LLC/Investor's Realty hereinafter will bereferred to as Developer. Reference made to Delaware Code, State Code, the Code, or regulations will refer to TheRegulations Governing The Design, Installation And Operation Of On-Site Wastewater Treatment And DisposalSystems (Regulations).While I have no authority to speak on behalf of the homeowners, I find it my responsibility to speak for them. Thehomeowners are fully aware that the water softener brine discharging into their sewer tank is in violation of State Codedue to the developer installing a water softener system where the brine drains into their septic tanks.In your letter, Dear Wynnwood residents, dated June 16, 2008, you stated, “We can not however, assume anyresponsibility for, or warrant the condition of your Septic System, since that directly relates to how your system hasbeen utilized and maintained as the Homeowner.”I find this totally unacceptable that as the developer of Wynn Wood who directly or indirectly disregarded State Codeby allowing the softener brine to be discharged into the homeowners septic system would not “warrant the condition of your Septic System, since that directly relates to how your system has been utilized”.I do know for a fact that my system has been illegally utilized and what I see as corrosion and separation developing inmy septic tank from the collecting and holding of the discharged brine. This is directly related to the developer's director indirect neglectful violation of State Code by not having a dry well (brine discharge collection system) installedduring development. And to state “There were on going discussions with DNREC regarding these regulations whenthe Conditioners were installed.” is not true in my case and probably with most of the homeowners on the homeownerslist.The part of the Code governing the brine discharge was effective March 2002 according to DNREC, and most if not allof the homeowners on the homeowners list closed their homes after March 2002. I closed a full two years and eightmonths after the Code was in effect. So I have no concern how long the “discussion” was on going, or with whom, myconcern is that the “Code” was in effect and violated, and I noticed no reference in the regulation where the Code wasallowed to be overlooked due to on going discussions.  Dave GilgenastJune 24, 2008Subject: Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge into Residential Septic Tankspage 2 of 4My septic system is maintained with the recommendations made in the “Septic Tank Best Management Practice (BMP)Manual” located on the Public Works department of the Kent County Levy Court Home Page. The recommendationslisted in Table 1 of that Manual states that a 1000 gallon septic tank with two people would need pumping in 5.9 years,see attached: Table 1. Estimated Septic Tank Pumping Frequencies in Years.In researching this table I found it to be the recommended guide in college's, universities, and State web sites nationwide. So I know when to service my septic system, but now I need to prematurely have it serviced, inspected forcorrosion, and repaired or replaced due to the corrosion, which I fully feel was due to the developers neglect in notinstalling a dry well or brine discharge collection system which allowed the collection and holding of discharged brinefor years in my septic tank.During your visit to my home on June 12, 2008 I showed you the corrosion in my septic tank, which is in my option isconsiderable separation on the concrete wall, that was, and still is being caused by the brine that has been allowed to bedischarged into the septic tank and embedded/soak into the concrete wall. That this was due to the unauthorizeddischarge of brine into my septic tank that caused the salt corrosion which will lead to the premature failure of the tank if its not repaired or replaced.I have spoken to some of the homeowners in reference to the problems they have/are experiencing with their septicsystems. Each homeowner has experienced problems which they attributed to the brine being discharged into theirseptic systems. Some of the homeowners have had their septic system backup due to blockage of the pipe entering theirseptic tank and/or in the tank discharge filter assembly (effluent filter), I had a crystalline substance blocking my filter.Some homeowners have had their septic tank pumped out several times in an effort to eliminate the problem, and thedeveloper has also pumped out several other tanks after those homeowners complained, one homeowner has alreadyhad to replace their septic tank, and the problems still continue.According to information received from the Delaware Department Of Natural Resources and Environmental Control(DNREC), no brine water was to be discharged into the septic system and that brine discharge would have a corrosiveeffect on the septic system. And as states in my letter dated June 17, 2008 referenced above, DNREC regulationsclearly shows that the homeowners, through no fault of their own, are in violation of the regulation governing brinewater discharge, that this was due to the unauthorized brine discharge connection made to the septic system.That due to the noncompliance with the stated Code in my letter referenced above, the homeowners unknowingly andat no fault of their own, have contaminated their septic tanks for several years by having salt brine discharging into it.That in order to mitigate any further damage that could be caused by salt corrosion, and to lessen any possible futuredamage to the septic tanks due to the years of accumulated salt discharge and crystallization buildup, the homeownersdemand that the developer in good faith and without reservation conduct a service, cleaning, inspection, and repair of any damage found in the septic tanks caused by the discharge, collection and the prolonged holding of brine in theseptic tanks. That this correction be without cost to the homeowners, and the developer, or its authorized agent contactthe homeowners contained in the Homeowners Listing concerning matters of their septic tanks.I also want to thank you for providing me and some of the other homeowners with the information packet containingyour letter dated June, 16 2008, and the guide provided by DNREC: Simply Septics, A Guide for DelawareHomeowners about On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems, @1999, reprinted July 2002.  Dave GilgenastJune 24, 2008Subject: Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge into Residential Septic Tankspage 3 of 4In it, it states that “Systems permitted after March 2002 are required to have risers extending above grade and aneffluent filter.” While the effluent filter is installed and maintained by me on a regular bases, the guide clearly statesthat yet another State Code has been violated. The guide, and the fact sheet diagrams included in the packet clearlystate and show that the watertight access manholes extend above grade, min 2”, Max 6”, see attached EXHIBIT G,Typical Two Compartment Septic Tank, which is clearly not the case with my septic tank, and probably most, if not allof the other homeowners within the entire Wynn Wood development.I will gladly accept any other documents from the developer showing where the developer has committed yet anotherState Code violation at any time, this will help ensure me that my home was built, and is within established Code. As ahomeowner I purchased my home to enjoy a peaceful retirement living, not to read Regulations and Codes to ensurethat a developer has developed my home to established Code standards. During the purchasing of a home theprospected home buyer relies on the confidence of developer to ensure that all Codes are meet. Now I need to read theregulation governing brine discharge and septic tanks that pertain to my situation, so I did.The following is an extract from the Regulations Governing The Design, Installation And Operation Of On-SiteWastewater Treatment And Disposal Systems, which can be found on the DNREC web site. SECTION 6.00000 -- DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION6.07217 Each septic tank shall be constructed with a watertight access riser for each compartment and shall extend abovegrade. The riser and lid shall be made of concrete, masonry or an equivalent durable material approved by the Department. If multiple concrete risers are needed then water tight gaskets or hydraulic cement must be placed between each riser.EXHIBIT G, Typical Two Compartment Septic Tank (attached) I knew that no one would knowingly violate a State Code during the development of a home sub-division so I retrievedmy Site Plan. And there in black and white print, the Site Plan, states “SEE EXHIBITS, G, H & K FOR PROPERINSTALLATION OF SEPTIC TANK, “D” BOX & DRAINFIELD”. This Site Plan has the“OWNER'S/AUTHORIZED AGENT SIGNATURE” dated 6/18/04, and I am sure that each and every homeownerwithin the Wynn Wood Development has the same type document pertaining to their home development, which shouldon file with the State. The Site Plan clearly states that the Owner/Authorized Agent should have complied withexhibits, G, H, & K for the proper installation of the septic tank as authenticated by their signature as theOwner/Authorized Agent.That during development the developer was the owner of the property. While the homeowners were under an“Agreement of Sale”, they could not go upon or trespass on the site without written consent of the developer, could nottake possession of said property until the completion of a completed bill of sale (when the title was relinquished orretired by the homeowner during the final settlement), and was not an authorized agent for the developer. Thedeveloper, was the rightful owner of said property who had coordinated/contracted with a septic system installer tolawfully and professionally install the septic system.Again it would appear that whatever contractor was responsible for the installation and setup of the septic system madea conscious decision to willfully disregard the State Code by violating section 6.07217 by willfully and knowingly notinstall the watertight access manholes to extend above grade as per attached Exhibit G. Unless this also was in the “ongoing discussions with DNREC”.  Dave GilgenastJune 24, 2008Subject: Prohibited Water Softener Brine Discharge into Residential Septic Tankspage 4 of 4I had nothing but positive and constructive comments about the developer and some of the contractors they utilized.Now I see why the other homeowners have experienced nothing but frustration and anger while trying to resolve issuesconcerning their homes with the developer. Until now I had regarded your firm as a professional and excellentdeveloper of home sites. I still feel that in my opinion your concern and willingness to assist homeowners in correctingproblems they encounter during and after the purchase of their homes were commendable, and I have every reason tobelieve that you will take prompt actions in resolving these serious matters. My hope is to reach a satisfactoryresolution to the various Code violations without resorting to costly and involved litigation.Sincerely //s// Daniel BrownEnclosure: 2, Table 1. Estimated Septic Tank Pumping Frequencies in YearsEXHIBIT G - Typical Two Compartment Septic Tank c.c. Susan Marsett, DNREC:  Virginia George, President Wynn Wood Homeowners Association:
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