The city of Challis will update its sewer maps for the first time since 1983 following a request from East Idaho Public Health officials.

Mayor Mike Barrett told city council members that an East Idaho Public Health representative called his office and wanted to look at a map of the underground sewer lines in Challis.

Unable to give the information, Barrett told council members an updated map needs to be created. They agreed to have the maps created because city leaders want to apply for wastewater grants, which require accurate maps.

The money to pay for the new maps will come out of the city’s sewer fund.

With a little up-front money, benefits will come, the mayor said.

“This is something that needs to be updated,” said Barrett. “Once the mapping is done it will be good for quite a while.”

Environmental Health Administrator Tilly Johnson said the public health office requested the map because when people apply to build a septic tank, they may not know that a city’s sewer line connects to their property. By looking at a city’s sewer map, Johnson can tell applicants whether they can connect to the city’s sewer lines. If they can, they don’t need a septic tank.

“It would be helpful to have an updated map because we’re trying to make it easier to tell where the lines are,” said Johnson. “We can’t issue a permit within a certain distance of a service line.”

Keller Associates was hired to map the sewers.