CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Bloomer-based septic provider recently agreed to pay $30,500 in court costs and fines after the owner pleaded guilty to improper disposal of sewage, failure to leave fields in litter-free condition, improper record keeping and failure to properly treat the soil.
The state Department of Justice filed the lawsuit last summer in Chippewa County Court against Jonathan Bischel and Bischel’s Septic Service, 12979 Highway SS. The lawsuit comes after a several-year investigation, the complaint states.
In the lawsuit, the state’s attorneys claimed Bischel improperly dumped sewage in a quarry where it wasn’t allowed. Bischel bought property at 13256 Highway SS in the town of Woodmohr on July 1, 2014. The site is a former rock quarry/gravel pit.
“Bischel was not approved to land spread septage at the gravel pit,” the complaint states.
Bischel had permits to land spread sewage on several fields, but Department of Natural Resources wardens “observed septage that had been spread in the field and several pieces of litter.”
Another warden noted some “spot dumping” of sewage being spread on the edge of a corn field that included everything from toilet paper and tampon sleeves to plastic lids from Styrofoam cups and pieces of clothing. The warden also observed Bischel’s truck spread the septage at the gravel pit.
On Aug. 28, 2014, the DNR installed a GPS tracking system on one of Bischel’s trucks. The GPS tracker “data shows that Bischel land spread septic waste at the gravel pit on 35 occasions between Aug. 29, 2014, and Sept. 18, 2014.”
The $30,500 settlement includes forfeitures of $20,661, along with penalty surcharges, an environmental surcharge, court costs, plus crime laboratories and drug law enforcement surcharges.
The settlement agreement states that Bischel was to pay $2,000 each month from Oct. 1, 2018 through Dec. 1, 2019. However, court records show that Bischel has already paid the entire sum, and the matter is closed.