Water and Septic Information

January 21, 2014


Dear Knollwood Neighbors,

I had a very productive meeting with Mark Nelson, Environmental Health Manager at the St. Joseph County Health Department concerning the nitrate levels found in Granger drinking water.  This is my attempt to simplify the issue from the experts.

Northern Indiana has enjoyed the most prolific aquifer in the state.  In a nutshell, an aquifer is an underground layer of glacial water, filtered by sand and gravel, supplying water to our wells.  This aquifer is now showing levels of nitrates.

Nitrates and pharmaceuticals from our old and failing septic systems are leaking into our drinking water, via our personal wells.

Nitrates come from human urine.  For example, when a person takes an antibiotic or seizure medicine, their body absorbs what it can, and the remainder comes out of the body in the form of urine.  The urine then goes into the septic system.  If the system is failing, the nitrates leak out into our yards and then into our well.

This nitrate problem is not unique to Granger.  Most communities throughout the country, with older septic systems, are experiencing the same issues.  The best remedy is of course, the most expensive….. hooking up to city water and sewer.  At this time, the solution is too expensive for the 30,000 + Granger residents.  What do we do?  The county health department would love to see all drywells replaced, as a first step.  To date, it has not been mandated.

Have your water tested.   ($80.00 to $115.00 )

If the nitrate levels are too high, a reverse osmosis unit can be installed under the kitchen sink, where most drinking water is taken from.  A whole house system is not usually necessary because we do not consume or absorb enough nitrates while brushing our teeth or showering.  A reverse osmosis unit can be purchased from any hardware store but should be installed by a licensed plumber.  The total estimated cost for the unit and installation should be no more than $350.00.  By the way, boiling your water makes the nitrate content even higher.  Boiling water is only recommended when bacteria is present.

Pump and inspect your septic system   ($150.00 approx)

As a realtor, I would highly recommend having your septic and well inspected prior to listing.  The county is in the process of making septic codes stricter for the transfer of property.  A new septic system could cost $7,000 or more.  Knowledge is power!

The following list is meant to be helpful to our neighbors and is not an endorsement by the Knollwood Home Owner’s Association.

Valley Lea Water Testing   272-8484     

Guardian Septic (formally A & R) 574-202-7407

Cowsert Septic   574-674-8960 

BFS Plumbing   251-1931                                                       

SLR Plumbing  269-683-1290

“This article is strictly for informational purposes only.  The Knollwood HOA and its board are not experts on nitrates, or septic systems. Before acting you should seek the opinion of an expert regarding an issue discussed in this article or call the St. Joseph County Health Department at 235-9721

For further information read Save Your Septic System

Leaf Removal Update

On December 10th we met with Greenworld concerning the removal of leaves in our subdivision. I believe the meeting was constructive and we were able to address several issues. As a result, our communications with Greenworld should be improved. They have now completed four passes through the subdivision. Per our discussions they were intent on completing 5 passes. Given the weather situation I’m not sure how feasible that is. I drove through the subdivision yesterday and it appears most leaves were picked up. Pending a significant thaw this may be the best we can do at present. I appreciate your patience as we work through this issue.

I received a couple of calls from home owners that felt they were bypassed. If you believe they did not pick up your leaves please let me know. I will compile a list of addresses and forward it to Greenworld and see if we can get something accomplished despite the weather.

Dan Pawelski, KHA

Leaf Removal Announcement

As you are aware we are having issues with our leaf removal program. In March, we contracted with Green World Global to remove our leaves. Our contract calls for five passes in the fall and one in the spring. The passes were to have been completed by December 1st. Obviously this has not been the case. Yesterday, Green World responded to our repeated requests for information. To be brief, they are citing weather as the only reason for the delay. They stated that they intend to make the remaining passes dependent on weather. While I believe they will make the effort we are at the mercy of the weather.

We are meeting with a Green World representative on Tuesday. A question of the number of passes completed has come up. By my recollection they have made two passes through the neighborhood. They maintain that they have made three. I request that if you have had three passes please let me know. It is important that I have this information for our Tuesday meeting. My phone is 271 – 0682. You can leave a message on our answering machine.

I believe the issue is more complex than a weather delay. The Board understands your frustration and is working towards a resolution. We are all in the same boat.
Thank you for your patience.

Dan Pawelski, KHA

3 New “No Trespassing” Signs


We are pleased to have neighbor/attorney, Randy Arndt, on our HOA board.

You may have notice three new “No Trespassing” signs throughout the neighborhood.  A No Trespassing sign  is merely a defense to liability, as is any warning sign.   However, the sign itself will not absolve liability.  It further changes the status of the person that has entered the area so that the ability to make a liability claim is severely diminished.  Unless it is an attractive nuisance (something that would attract a child’s curiosity), we will keep the sign in place to keep liability down.

No Tresspassing Sign – Barryknoll Way
No Trespassing sign located on Barryknoll Way
No Tresspassing Sign – Adams Road
No Trespassing sign located on Adams Road
No Tresspassing Sign – Ridgemoor Way
No Trespassing sign located on Ridgemoor Way

Rezoning of 165 Acres Behind Marlowe & Barryknoll

Good Morning !

The rezoning of the 165 acres behind the homes on Marlowe Way and Barryknoll Way has been approved by Milton County. The land will be rezoned from farming to residential. The approval will then go to Cass County for approval, then back to the Trustees of Milton County. Milton Township is a “civil township” of Cass County. I don’t think there were enough of us present, voicing our opinion, at the October 7th meeting. There were approximately five Knollwood residents in attendance and only two of us shared our concerns.

The biggest concerns were lack of nature/wildlife, and increased traffic on an already dangerous corner of Gumwood and Redfield.

As you may have heard, Adams Road Development is planning a new subdivision, with approx. 100 homes, on that land.

Sally Potts
President: Knollwood Homeowners Association

New Members to the Board

The Knollwood board is pleased to announce two new board members to help us with our neighborhood progress.  We welcome Mark McClean and Randy Arndt as valued volunteers! Mark is going to help develop and maintain our new website and Randy is a local Attorney who will help us with our legal issues and enforcing our covenants. We are lucky to have them!

KHA Board Wants You

We are always looking for new volunteers to donate their time and help us run our Knollwood Subdivision. If you have the time, we have the need for new blood with fresh ideas. Lastly, if you are an attorney and would like to volunteer your time, we would also like to hear from you. We welcome the all your ideas and input to help make our neighborhood a better place. Please contact a KHA board member or send our thoughts or ideas to KHABoardMember@yahoo.com

Gumwood Road Construction

The utility work has already begun along Gumwood Road. Plans include Phase I that will begin in the Spring of 2014 to include a roundabout at Brick intersection. Phase II will follow with the addition of a roundabout at Adams road intersection and road resurfacing up to Michigan State Line to be completed in the Summer of 2015. Any questions can be answered by St. Joe County Engineer, Jessica Clark at 574-235-9626 or St. Joe County Consultant, Darin Wills at DWills@chacompanies.com or (574)229-6611.


Gumwood Road closures begin April 7th