By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
At its Nov. 4 meeting, the Seward County Commission heard from Crystal Curry of X-Treme Fitness about a waiver request of public water supply requirements for her business in north Liberal.
After much discussion, it was determined that the county does not have authority to grant a waiver of what is a state requirement authorized by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Commissioners then requested a representative from KDHE be invited to its next meeting, tonight, along with Curry and X-Treme Fitness building owner Cliff Abbott and planning and zoning director Marcie Weatherly to see if a resolution can be reached.
In a letter to Abbott, Weatherly said state regulations require locations serving customers an average of at least 60 days out of the year to be served by a public water supply.
“The fitness center has been open to the public and serving more than 25 individuals daily since January 2013 and therefore meets the threshold for requiring a public water supply,” Weatherly said.
There are two options to meet this requirement.
“Tie into the City of Liberal public water supply or meet the state and federal requirements with your own water supply,” Weatherly said.
She added that the latter includes but is not limited to treatment and testing requirements and having a certified operator.
Weatherly also stated the county has no permit on file for the existing septic system, but notations in the file indicate that the system likely has a 1,000-gallon tank with 417 square feet of lateral lines.
“The X-Treme Fitness Facebook page claims that they now have 600 members,” she said. “Calculating required system size based on 25 percent of the membership, or 150 people, utilizing the facility each day yields the following results: minimum septic tank size = 2,400 gallons, minimum lateral field = 2,000 square feet.”
Weatherly said the county has been unable to verify that the existing system meets this requirement, and the system is therefore in violation of the Seward County sanitation code.
“Additionally, the sanitation code requires that any parcel within 400 feet of city sewer must connect to city sewer in the event their septic system needs to be repaired or replaced,” she said. “This parcel meets this requirement and is therefore required to connect to City of Liberal services if it continues to be utilized as a commercial facility serving this number of customers.”
Weatherly said connection with city services must be coordinated with City of Liberal staff.
“This process needs to be started immediately and shall be completed by Sept. 1, 2013, to avoid penalties and prosecution,” she said in the letter dated May 1. “Failure to comply with these requirements shall be deemed a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500. Each day’s violation shall constitute a separate offense.”
In information from tonight’s agenda packet, X-Treme Fitness officials said their business has been told that their customers cannot use the restrooms due to the pump to the water well at the business being vandalized.
The information likewise states X-Treme Fitness has lost existing and new customers because of not having a restroom.
“We want a waiver issued by the county commission ‘exempting’ our business from this ‘order’ made to us by Marcie Weatherly and or the county obtaining a water sample from the well proving our water is not contaminated,” the recommendation to the commission read.
The county commission meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. today in the commission chambers in the Seward County Administration Building.