S.O.S. - Save Our Septic® Wastewater Adventure Series Volume 6: Hungry for Litigation, Part 1
Chris Buckner, seasoned environmental engineer from the lower county of Lookout Mountain, scanned the vista outside his window. After 23 years of season changes, the mountainside still treated him to a new view every day. Today, a small string of hikers snaked along the trail, reminding him that this weekend was trash pickup duty along the trailside stream. Although the numbers of hikers increased each year, the amount of trash had remained steady. Maybe, he thought to himself, people were actually paying attention to those environmental lectures he conducted regularly. He was pretty protective of “his” mountain. It fueled his professional passion as well; over the years, he’d fine-tuned his focus to a preference for wastewater treatment projects.
This slow Monday afternoon, he was reviewing his mail. A certified letter topped the stack. He ran his finger over the expensive-looking embossed return address: Charles L. Kemp and Associates. The name seemed vaguely familiar. Finally, he recalled it was a law firm in the next town over.
Hmm, interesting,” Chris thought as he tore open the letter, wondering what it could be about.
He quickly scanned down the crisp white sheet to the signature of Phil Kemp. He settled back to read. Kemp was representing Mountain Shopping Village. Chris had been lead engineer on that project three years ago. The letter stated the shopping center had been cited for system under-performance during routine annual inspection of its wastewater treatment system.
Chris frowned at the letter, perplexed. He rang for his assistant. “Miranda, would you please pull the file on Mountain Shopping Village before you leave? I have some research to do.”
After a restless night, Chris headed to his office early. On his desk was the large wrapped green file labeled Mountain Shopping Village. Waiting for the coffee to brew, he spread out all the drawings and correspondence for the shopping center. The project details suddenly came back to him. Of course! This was a job with Bio-Microbics. Chris smiled, remembering how everyone with Bio-Microbics was as detail conscious as he was. Good products, he mused, so what’s up at this shopping center?
The coffeemaker beeped. “Aaaah, coffee,” he thought. “Now I can really get to work.”
Three cups later, Chris was more puzzled than before. He’d reviewed the initial influent data from the developer and the sizing specs Bio-Microbics team had helped him work up, as they had on many of his large commercial projects.“These parameters are ideal,” Chris thought, “what could possibly be causing this situation?”
“Time to bring in reinforcement,” he decided, and reached for the phone to call Bio-Microbics, just as Miranda buzzed him.
“Chris, you have a call on line four.”
Chris picked up the phone and discovered Robust on the line. “Robust! I was just getting ready to call you. How have you been?”
“Never better, I just wanted to check in. But you were calling me? Something going on that I can help you with, Chris?” Robust asked with a concerned tone.
“I’m not sure if you recall, but I worked on a project with you a few years back. I’ve received a letter from a law firm regarding the Mountain Shopping Village, and I need some help.” Chris explained.
“Sure thing,” Robust said, “Let me finish up a couple emails and I’ll be over.”
Two more cups of coffee later, Chris hung up the phone after his sixth unsuccessful attempt to contact the developer. He was shaking his head in frustration as Robust appeared at his office door.“Okay, Chris, what is going on?”
“Well, after our discussion I was able to look further into the project details. The county claims the system is not performing according to regulations. I have been trying to contact Jeff Wilson, the developer, but I can’t get a hold of him.”
“I’ll tell you what, Chris,” Robust insisted, “Let’s go take a look at the system to get to the bottom of this.”
To be continued... (Click here for Part 2)
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