Technical Advisory Council


Onsite Wastewater Treatment

August 3, 2006


Call to Order


Meeting held 9:45 a.m. on August 3, 2006 Michigan State University, Agronomy Farm.


Members and alternates present: Chuck Cousino, Ben Foster, Don Porter, Tony Drautz, Larry Johnson, Ron Lindsay, Del Mokma, Ted Loudon, Dan Sandahl, Dan Wagner, Gary White and Regina Young.


Guests present: none


Review of agenda. Under MDEQ correct text to read the MALEHA Whitepaper. Add to the agenda a Training Center discussion about adding a water supply inspection training component. Approved with additions.


Meeting Minutes Reviewed. Motion by Tony Drautz, second by Larry Johnson that the minutes of the June 1, 2006 minutes be approved. Approved unanimously.




Website Postings—Ted provided the revised soil compaction document and order form with the marking tape added. Marking tape is yellow and black and says “septic system”. Ted will take a picture that shows both the sign and the tape to include on the order form. Ted will edit and email over to all (in pdf format) Ben will post the revised order form on the web.


Filter Fabric Suppliers list—A list of the suppliers is needed to post on the web. Ted and Ron will get together with various distributors to get a list of local suppliers. List will be provided to Ben within next week or so.


Septic Tank Inspection Document-- Final edits to change the last sentence of item 1 b are needed to remove the compaction statement. Tony will edit the pdf document and email it to everyone for review. A vote of approval and/or concerns is then to be sent to Chuck.


Concrete Septic Tank Manufacturer’s Association --- Regulatory adoption of the standards was discussed. Chuck discussed the concept of having a MDEQ adoption of the standards as meeting the definition of  “watertight septic tank”. If adopted the standard could be adopted for any system over 1000 gallons per day. Ted identified the value of having a manufacturer such as Orenco to require certified tanks as well. Dan W. reported that through his personal experience (Milan Vault) he has learned the value of the on-site wastewater accreditation program (OWAP) certification. Dan has obtained a summary of the program titled NPCA On-site Wastewater Accreditation. More information available at\OWAP or call NPCA at 800-336-7731. Dan reported the MCSTA recently indicated that to proceed with the OWAP program time will be necessary to bring the tank manufacturers up to speed. Gary inquired about any data that compares leaking tanks to watertight tanks. Data such as a comparison to wastewater system’s lifespan, operation, etc. would be important to gain support. Ron reported that STEP operators across the country have information regarding leaking tanks and that there have been some studies. Arizona identified a 70% rate of leaking tanks. Ted reported his experience in on-site has been tanks in Michigan off the market have been identified as leaking 50% of the time. Ron reported that over 1/3 of the tanks have been identified as leaking through Orenco. Dan concluded that one step at a time it is feasible. Ted inquired with local health department representatives whether a TAC presentation about watertight septic tanks would be beneficial for the winter installers meetings. Ron and Ted will check to see if there is any data regarding tanks. Tony and Gary will check to see if the NPCA can be added to the MALEHA Fall Directors Conference. Dan and Ric can begin looking at the standards. Regina will contact other local health department supervisors to inquire about winter meetings with installers and tank manufacturers.


Commercial Flow Study – Gary reported that he is waiting for information to be provided to him. Ted brought the information today. Chuck requested a draft by the next TAC meeting.


Training Center Update --- Ted has gathered information about septic pumpers program and plans to meet with Matt Campbell of MDEQ. The Michigan Groundwater Association has meet with Ted to discuss adding the well inspector’s certification training program. Ted requested TAC’s view on adding a well inspection component to the Novi training center. Consensus of the group was that it would be beneficial.


MDEQ Community Systems --- MDEQ is still meeting on the guidance document and progress is being made. Ric is coordinating with the permits and enforcement members of MDEQ.


Nitrogen Limits—MOWRA has met with MDEQ regarding nitrogen limits for community systems. MOWRA has been working on a summary of the meeting and data regarding nitrogen in the soil/groundwater, which will be provided to MDEQ Groundwater Permits Section.


EPA Alternative Systems Database— Discussion about the TWIST. Regina recommended that a session about the database be added to the Wastewater Conference next year. Ben reported that Clearstream has recently signed on to the NSF monitoring program.


Grab Samples---Dan reported having some website research on grab samples and that the consensus was that the data from grab samples is questionable. Ted reported that a grab from recirculating system will likely yield consistent results; however, the data from a grab sample of a gravity system (non-recirculating) is not meaningful. Discussion of counties that are requiring  samples as part of monitoring of alternative systems. Various levels of enforcement for collection of grab samples exists. Ted will work on an outline of a simple document regarding grab samples and their use.


Regulatory Stucture- Will hold until the next meeting.




Dan and Ted reported a bill has been introduced to the senate that requires that requires community systems meet all local government regulations. SB1336 (?)


TAC Action Register—Regina will update and email out with each copies of the minutes. Action items will also be bolded within the draft minutes.


Meeting adjourned at 12:20 PM.


NEXT MEETING : Friday, September 29, 2006