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Monday, May 02, 2011

Problems at Mountain Sewer Corporation?

Mountain Sewer Corporation is the subject of a formal complaint filed last week with the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC). The formal complaint was filed by a collective group of Mountain Sewer customers on the south end of Pineview Reservoir.

An informal complaint was filed on February 16, 2011 against Mountain Sewer. On March 16, 2011 a disastrous flood affected several town homes at the Lakeside Village complex. Raw sewage water mixed with the storm runoff flow and flooded several town homes causing considerable damage. This was due in part to a blocked storm drain that diverted storm runoff to a sanitary sewer opening maintained by Mountain Sewer. Another factor in the flooding appears to have been two sewage lift pumps owned by Mountain Sewer at the Lakeside Village town homes that have not functioned properly for several years.

The functional problems with these lift pumps had previously resulted in Mountain Sewer Corp. pumping raw sewage from the Lakeside Village sewer vaults into trucks, transporting the sewage into a gated community and dumping the raw sewage into manholes in that private community. This was the solution that Mountain Sewer chose rather than repairing the long standing problems with the lift pumps at Lakeside Village.

During the investigation following the flooding on March 16th, it was discovered that Mountain Sewer had ignored several administrative PSC regulations regarding the proximity of developed lots to the sewer company's sewer lagoons, and the road maintenance requirements for those lagoons.

The Mountain Sewer user’s complaint states that Mountain Sewer has been inconsistent and at times, remiss with it’s billing and collections of State regulated sewer fees.

Discussions with several Mountain Sewer users revealed that while some Mountain Sewer customers have received bills and paid hookup fees, pre-connection fees, and normal sewer fees over the years, others being served by Mountain Sewer have not. In the operation of State regulated utilities such as Mountain Sewer, inconsistent billing of regulated fees or collections of those fees is not an option. The regulated utility is required to accurately bill and record payments for every customer in their serving area.

Since the owner of Mountain Sewer is the same developer that also developed the surrounding area of Ski Lake, there is some understandable concern among Mountain Sewer customers of the possible commingling of funds with his other corporations, and the possible failure of the developer to pay for his own sewer fees and connection fees for lots that he owned during the past several years.


Jazz Man said...

It is about time this kind of abuse has been highlighted.
Many developers come into our Valley and use every trick in the book to maximize their greed. It looks like this one was exposed and it should serve as a warning to all those on small water and sewer systems, to make sure you are getting a fair shake from your provider.

Citron said...

This post on the blog begs the question of why would the Weber County Planning staff recommend that the lots in the development be approved when they violated the PSC distance rule regarding the then already existing sewer lagoons? Are these people even paying attention?