The little town of Randolph has a big problem. Failing septic systems are threatening the Cannon River watershed and the drinking supply for the town.

What are the options? One is that people with failing septic systems could be required to put in new ones, which is very expensive. Option 2 is to connect to Cannon Falls. Option 3 is to build a citywide treatment system.

According to a Star Tribune report, the city gave up control over septic system monitoring, and then the responsibility fell to Dakota County. In their findings on inspections of 149 systems, 43 were failing and 106 were compliant. Of those, though, 30 could fail sometime in the near future.

Some systems are so outdated they drain into sandy soil, which does not act as a proper filter. And over time all of this can get into the aquifer that supplies the drinking water for the town.

A study has started to look at solutions to the problem. A county program has been created to allow people who have to replace their systems to attach the cost to their taxes so they don't have to pay it all at once. It's estimated the replacement costs could be anywhere from $8,000-$15,000 or more for homeowners.


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