Farm's septic system costs port more

A septic system installed in the 1980s is proving to be a bit of a headache for officials at the Port of Coupeville.

Port commissioners are looking for someone to maintain the septic system at the Greenbank Farm. The extra help is needed to keep up with state regulations.

The port, which owns the farm, has to find someone to inspect and maintain the system on a regular basis. The port is currently advertising for bids.

Jim Patton, the port’s executive director, said the farm has one of the largest on-site septic systems on the island. It can handle, at its peak, 5,000 gallons of sewage a day.

He said such a large sewage system was installed by Chateau St. Michelle, the previous owner of the Greenbank Farm. They wanted a large system so the farm could host large events such as the concerts that take place in the winery’s facility in Woodinville. The farm was eventually sold to the public, along with its deluxe septic system.

The stricter regulations, which were adopted in 2006, require weekly, bi-weekly and monthly inspection schedules for the septic system.

Hiring someone to inspect the septic system comes as the port’s money reserves are declining. The port asked for a levy increase during last November’s election, but voters resoundingly rejected that measure along with every other proposed tax increase on the ballot.

Patton said the large septic system is necessary because it fits in with the farm’s expansion plans. Officials are looking for state funding for a new building at the farm. Also, the farm continues to host several large events each year, including the Loganberry Festival and Highland Games.

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