Technical Advisory Council


Onsite Wastewater Treatment

November 24, 2003


Meeting held November 24, 2003 at MSU Turfgrass Research Center.


Members and alternates present:   Del Mokma, Ron Lindsay, Larry Stephens, Chuck Cousino, Bob Godbold, Dan Wagner, Regina Young, Ric Falardeau, Gary White, and Ted Loudon.


Guests present:

·         Tony Drautz, R.S. of the Oakland County Health Division.  Tony replaced Bob Long upon Bob’s retirement.

·         Robert Haman, Jr. --- Concrete Sealants, Tipp City, Ohio


Meeting called to order by Chuck Cousino, Chairman.


Minutes of the October 6, 2003 meeting were reviewed.  Motion by Bob Godbold, support by Regina, to approve minutes with some minor revisions noted.  Motion carried.






Filter Fabric Over Drainfields – Ron, Ted, Bob --- Bob has received no new responses to his listserve inquiry.  He still has a couple of leads to follow up on. 


Ric had a discussion with Mike Beckwith regarding filter fabric.  Their specification has been in place for 10 years now.  They have indicated no problems with systems using fabric meeting their specifications.


The TAC will continue to research this topic.  Ted will talk to some of the drainage companies to see if they might be of some help. 


Chuck --- Washtenaw County has a fabric spec. in their code, but they don’t know where they got it.


Ric will check with Mike Beckwith to see if we can get a copy of their listing of approved fabrics.


Commercial Flow Study --- Ted --- This is awaiting some available time by the student he has working on it.  It will be after the current semester ends.


Residential Flow Study – Ted --- Ted passed out copies of the revised Executive Summary he prepared.  Moved by Larry, support by Del, that we approve the revised Executive Summary and the residential flow study for publication and distribution.  Motion carried.  Larry will develop a first draft of the companion document discussing the use of this information.



Site Compaction – Regina --- MEHA will not take on the responsibility of making the signs available   Who might?  The Training Center?  We need to find out how many health departments and others might use the signs if we make them available.  Bob will send another inquiry out on the Health Department listserve.


Septic Tank Quality Standards – Dan W. and Ted --- A forum is planned at the annual wastewater conference, by invitation only, to discuss proper methods for septic tank manufacturing in Michigan.  Precast tank manufacturers that market tanks in Michigan have been invited.


New Product Review  --- We apparently do not have the resources to provide this kind of service at this time.  Ric had previously sent out the standards that Wisconsin has developed, but they have several years head start on us, and have a few people doing nothing but product review.  Perhaps we can put a link to their website under our TAC information portion of the MOWRA website.


Regulatory Structure Document --- Ric – The TAC reviewed the revisions to this Guidance Document prepared by Ric.  Moved by Del, support by Bob, to approve the revisions to this document.  Motion passed.  We will make a limited number of copies available at the Annual Conference.


Operating Permits --- Ric has not had much time to work on this matter. 


Bob Godbold’s Survey ---- He has put out an inquiry on the health department listserve regarding the names of septic tank manufacturer’s doing business in Michigan.  To date he has received 17 responses out of 44 jurisdictions.  He will give it some time before finalizing the results.


Sanitarians’ Ready-Reference --- Gary updated the TAC on his communication with MEHA regarding the publication of this document.




Wastewater Conference --- At the Annual Onsite Wastewater Treatment Conference this year, a VIP luncheon and meeting has been planned for decision-makers, local and state.


Annual NOWRA Conference --- Ted, Chuck, Del and Larry reported on the highlights of the NOWRA conference. 


Annual Appointment of Member Representatives --- Larry will send out a letter to the member organizations to re-appoint their representatives to the TAC.  We will then have election of TAC officers at the January meeting as called for in the Bylaws.


Court Decision --- Isabella County Case --- The Court of Appeals has ruled the requirement for the local unit of government to “sign off” on the responsibility for long-term maintenance of community onsite systems (cluster systems) is unconstitutional.  TAC members are not sure what  impact this decision will have on proposed community systems, or what the reaction of the local communities will be.  Ric does not know how the DEQ is preparing to act in response to this decision.  It would be beneficial for the TAC to be more involved with the land use planning profession as dialog continues on these issues.


Advantex vs Constructed Wetlands --- DEQ has approved a couple of installations in the flow range of between 10,000 and 20,000 GPD that recognize the Advantex packed-bed filter as an equivalent technology to a constructed wetland as called for in the Part 22 Rules.


Meeting was adjourned at 12:40 PM.




Next Meeting --- January 20, 2004


Location --- Hancock Turfgrass Center, unless notified otherwise.




Future Meeting Dates:         


            March 11, 2004



                                                                                    Larry D. Stephens, P.E., Sec.