Health Dept. Raises Concerns With New Wastewater System Installation At C-4 Elementary

Installation of a new wastewater system for C-4 Elementary School in the Ark City school district was halted earlier this week due to health department concerns.

According to a news release from the City-Cowley County Health Department Wednesday, design and installation concerns, along with permit issues, led health department administrator and county public health officer Thomas Langer to brief the county commission on the issue during its meeting Tuesday.

“The City-Cowley County Health Department is responsible for proper compliance with health and safety standards connected to installation and operation of private wastewater systems in Cowley County,” the health department said in its news release. “When wastewater systems are constructed or replaced the new system must meet strict capacity and design standards based upon building size occupancy and use, while also taking into consideration the property soil composition and profile.

“When installed correctly, owners can expect a lifetime of proper system function which also protects soil and groundwater in the external environment.”

C-4 Elementary School contracted for the installation of a new wastewater system for the school facility during the summer months, Langer told commissioners. Installation of the system was halted by order of the health department on Aug. 11.

The health department reported that as of the close of business Tuesday, the contractor, school district, and health department entered into an agreement and developed a plan of action to allow for correction of all items of concern. The health department said there has been no disruption for the start of school at C-4.

However, patrons of the district should be advised that work will continue on the wastewater system in the short term and, as such, access to some areas of school property may be restricted. The school itself will not be affected and the system will function as designed.

“Any questions that patrons or concerned community members may have can be submitted directly to the City-Cowley County Health Department in care of the Environmental Health Officer,” the health department said.