Zoning Officials Let Business Discharge Embalming Fluid

January 21, 2010
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imageIs this a problem where your funeral home is located? Are you allowed to dispose of embalming chemicals and bodily fluids into the sanitary sewer?

Zoning Officials Let Business Discharge Embalming Fluid

The lifting Tuesday of a 17-year-old sewage restriction will allow a Richland Township funeral home to perform all business activity at its Cherry Lane facility.

Township zoning hearing board members voted unanimously to allow Harris Funeral Home to discharge embalming chemicals and body fluids into the sanitary sewers.

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?What I do is not detrimental to anybody or I would not have asked for the restriction to be lifted,? funeral home owner William Harris said following Tuesday?s hearing.

The restriction was imposed as part of a conditional use permit granted in September 1992 that allowed Harris to establish a funeral home in the residential neighborhood, said Harris? attorney, George Raptosh.

At the time, the zoning hearing board was concerned about the number of sewage backups in the neighborhood, board solicitor Michael Sahlaney said.

?The board thought there were unique conditions at that time,? Sahlaney said, explaining that Tueday?s hearing was to determine if those conditions still exist.

Harris has always transported bodies back and forth for embalming at his East Conemaugh funeral home, where waste is discharged into the sanitary sewers.

Much of Tuesday?s testimony involved $7.7 million in improvements Highland Sewer and Water Authority has made to lessen overflows by reducing storm water infiltration in the sanitary sewers.

Highland Manager Edward Englehart outlined improvements in the Cherry Lane neighborhood on color-coded aerial photographs.

?This has been our priority area,? Englehart said. ?We are rehabilitating the system and getting the rainwater out.?

Under orders from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Highland has been tasked with eliminating wastewater overflows caused by excess rain.

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Source: Tribune-Democrat.com

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