COMMEN By Bob Weaver|
The availability of public rest rooms, particularly in areas not
served by a sewage
system, is a real problem in rural West Virginia. Dozens of small
Calhoun businesses from
beauty parlors and grocery stores to garages, in fact every business
not connected to the
Grantsville wastewater system, are being required to meet new
standards for maintaining a
Most rural businesses have closed their public restrooms, making it
difficult to find the
convenience. "The permit is complicated, and besides we cannot afford
the fees," said a
local business owner.
Another businessman told the The Hur Herald they invested several
thousands of dollars in
an approved system, but they are still required to go through the
process and pay the fees.
Most businesses have closed their rest rooms, placing "Employees Only"
signs on the door.
The West Virginia Division of EPA, Office of Water Resources, is now
"underground injection control program." The small businesses are
being required to
complete an application to license their public rest room. The
requires the owner to develop a topographic map extending one mile
from their business
site showing water supplies and septic systems.
The business owner is required to declare the average or maximum daily
amount of disposal
(feces, urine and water) with an analysis of the chemical and
Numerous other requirements are attached to the application. Each
business must place a
legal advertisement in a local newspaper denoting the permit
The annual toilet permit fee ranges from $50 to $1500, depending upon
the volume of
disposal. The discharge must be evaluated. The fees are charged
despite evidence of
approved septic systems.
The EPA appears to be making an assumption "modern" sewage disposal
available. In West Virginia only 50% of the state has sewage disposal.
Some rural Calhoun
businesses are required to have a public rest room, like restaurants
inspection stations. "We do not have the luxury of placing an
"Employees Only" sign on our
rest room door," said a restaurant owner. "I don't know what we are
going to do."
One local business is maintaining a tin can, requesting donations for
a "Crapper Fund."
Residents may revert to pioneer disposal during their travels, out of
view relief behind