By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
The owner of a local septic tank company has spoken out about an incident that involved dumping raw sewage in Horseshoe Bend. The Izard County Sheriff’s Department responded on Feb. 28 to Santa Fe Road within the city to respond to the septic truck dumping its con-tents on private property. According to a press release from the Izard County Sheriff’s Department, upon arrival deputies observed several areas that appeared to have been dumped on. Deputies immediately contacted the Arkansas Department of Health and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to seek assistance with these investigations. The Izard County Sheriff’s Office and Izard County Prosecutor’s office are continuing to work alongside the Department of Health and ADEQ to ensure all possible criminal and civil repercussions are served to the parties responsible. Owner of Dawson’s Septic, Kenneth Welch, said one of his employees, told another employee that he knew of a place to dump the sewage and while the other employee told Welch he advised against it, the driver chose to dump the sewage. Welch, who has been in business since purchasing the septic cleaning business, and business name from Donny Dawson seven year ago has since let the employee go due to the infraction. Welch said as soon as he was notified, he promptly notified the health department and went to the dump site, raked and cleaned it up and spread lime on the wet portion as is recommended by the health department for containing wastewater spills. The lime was then vacuumed. Welch said while he has been off work with an injury, he has not been able to oversee every action of his employees. Welch said he has operated a respectful and successful business for seven years with no other incidents and assures the public this is the only time this type of thing has happened. He has since taken safeguards to be proactive in the management of his business by installing GPS tracking devices in the truck to ensure where they are located at all times. Prior to the incident, he explained he has receipts for all of his dumps at the Mammoth Spring Sewer plant. He said while it is an unfortunate event that he took very seriously, and quickly responded to, he is saddened by the public’s responses to an incident that was dealt with quickly and effectively by a reputable business. At press time, no criminal or legal charges have been filed against the long standing company.