Amish Families Face Eviction for Outhouses

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A few Amish families in Kenton, Ohio are facing eviction after a health board threatened to shut down the properties if they do not install modern wells and septic systems.

Two Amish families were told in January that they have 30 days to comply with the regulations. Currently, Amish families use outhouses for bathrooms as their lifestyle prohibits many modern appliances.

The outhouses do not have electric pumps, and the waste is collected and distributed around the property.

The Kenton-Hardin County Health Board is now requiring that waste be stored in a watertight container that can be moved from the property and disposed of when the time comes. They also want to system to be built by licensed contractors and inspected by officials.

The families are angered that the rules contradict their beliefs. More than 200 Amish families live in the area. The rules do not apply to existing homes but do apply to those recently built. 

Families against the regulations have filed an appeal which is set to be heard on Tuesday. Many families are expected to attend the hearing and protest the regulations.

It is believed the Amish families are willing to abide by the rules as long as they can continue living the way that they do. A few other counties nearby have encountered similar arguments from Amish families, but they were able to reach agreements with law enforcement.

The board says their main concern is that the outhouses are impacting the environment and health of residents.

Those facing eviction are not hiring lawyers and do not want to fight with the officials, they just want to continue their simple way of life. 

"The health board has bent over backward for these people," prosecutor Brad Bailey said. "We're not looking for trouble. We're looking for everyone to follow the regulations on the books."

Joni Hershberger, who lives in one of the houses facing eviction, said he doesn't want the hearing to be a big argument.

"Seems to me, there ought to be some kind of compromise," he said. "We'll let them give their sixpence, and then we'll see where we stand. But I can tell you this: I'm not moving."

Inquisitr, Stamford Advocate