Howard County Facing Growing Pains Regarding Housing in the Area

Howard County Facing Growing Pains Regarding Housing in the Area

Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - There's no doubt Howard County is booming, and just as in surrounding areas, they are also facing a housing crunch. Some are trying to help ease that burden but in the process, they may be breaking the law.

"You have to have a permit to install a septic system, as far as RV Parks or Mobile Home Parks, go you have to have that system," Kathryn Wiseman, Representative Designated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Howard County, said.

As Howard County braces itself for the hundreds of people that are expected to come in light of the Cline Shale, finding housing is becoming harder and harder.

During the last County Commissioners meeting, six requests were submitted for septic systems for either an RV Park or for a mobile home park. According to Wiseman, many who own an RV Park often fail to do the proper work from the beginning.

"It needs to be installed by a licensed installer. The license installer knows that as he submits the permit, it must be also be approved and signed off by either a registered sanitarian or a professional engineer," Weisman said.

Weisman says if more than 15 RVs are installed it has to be approved for a public water supply, which again many owners have failed to do.

"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will not approve a water supply for private well that's over 14 RV spaces. If you have 15 RV Spaces, then it has to be public water supply approved and so that has also been a problem," Weisman said.

Weisman goes on to say that many county residents have found ways to put multiple RV's in their backyard, and in the process, have broken some laws.

"The sizing is determined by your side evaluator. A lot of problems that we are seeing, I am getting complaints because people think that they can hook up several RV's to their private septic system and they can't. It's not sized for that, it will overflow and ruin that septic system," Weisman said.

Weisman tells NewsWest 9 that if an RV Park or mobile homeowner is not in compliance, they have 30 days to make sure their septic system is within guidelines. After the 30 days, Weisman says they will be fined $250 dollars per day and, if needed, their location will be closed down.