Amish Sue Michigan Health Dept Over Septic Tank Regulations

September 26, 2003


On September 26, 2003 ran a story from the Religion News Service that reported: "Five Amish farmers in rural Michigan are suing the local health department, charging that strict enforcement of septic system rules is violating their religious freedom. Health agency officials maintain that Amish families in Gladwin County, 150 miles north of Detroit, must install septic systems large enough to meet health codes. The Amish, who use indoor water only for washing dishes and bathing, say installing standard-size septic systems would be wasteful and would violate their religiously mandated simplicity. 'What the government is asking is unconstitutional,' John Whitehead, president of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Rutherford Institute, told the Associated Press. 'These people have essentially been persecuted for their religious beliefs.'"