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Records show that Septic Tank where body found had not been serviced in decades

Woman found dead submerged in septic tank in North Port.
Woman found dead submerged in septic tank in North Port.(WWSB)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 3:42 PM EDT

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - After a woman was found dead inside a septic tank in the yard of her North Port home, ABC7 has learned more details.

A 74-year-old woman was found dead after falling through the septic tank in her front yard.

Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port Police Department remarked, “It was quickly realized that there’s this hole and she was in this hole. It’s a completely freakish type incident that you would never think would happen.”

ABC7 reached out to the Florida Department of Health to inquire about servicing records for the property. A spokesperson said the tank had been installed in 2004 and DOH had no record that the system had been serviced since.

“Regrettably, there is no state law or regulation requiring homeowners to service their septic system,” reads the statement, “The health department recommends any home with a septic system to have the system pumped and evaluated every 3-5 years or sooner if the system is showing any signs of malfunction or failure.”

ABC7 spoke to Martin Guffey, owner of Martin Septic Service who said there are many factors that could have contributed to the woman’s tragic death. Corrosion played a factor in this collapse of the tank.

Guffey says that there are around 2.4 million septic systems in Florida. People should have their septic tanks serviced every three to five years.

Police say this is most likely an accidental death and are continuing with their investigation. The autopsy results have yet to be released.

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