Technical Advisory Council


Onsite Wastewater Treatment

September 25, 2002


Meeting held September 25, 2002 at Michigan State University, Turfgrass Research Center.


Members and alternates present:   Ted Loudon, Del Mokma, Dan Sandahl, Scott Ross, Bob Long, Steve Aguinaga, Ron Lindsay, Larry  Stephens, Chuck Cousino, and Regina Young.


Guests present:             John Dowson, Highland Treatment Company

                                    Bob Deatrick, Soil Scientist, Groundwater Program, DEQ


Meeting called to order by Chuck Cousino, Chairman.


Motion by Scott Ross, support by Dan Sandahl, that the minutes of the June 19, 2002 meeting be approved as distributed. 




Bob Deatrick will be replacing Scott Ross as a representative on the TAC from DEQ.  Scott has been reassigned to the wellhead protection program.  Bob will join the meeting later this morning.




Chuck introduced John Dowson to discuss problems with the current structure for operation and maintenance of small community wastewater treatment systems.  John listed a number of difficulties he has experienced with systems he has operated.  Many of the problems mentioned are rooted in the fact that we have no set of regulations setting forth the requirements for a system operator, or even a requirement that a knowledgeable operator be in charge of the operation of the system. 


Substantial discussion points to the fact that we need better regulatory requirements for the operation and maintenance of small community wastewater systems.  Currently, in most parts of Michigan, there is no ongoing accountability for the proper operation of small community wastewater systems.


John listed the following needs from his point of view:


        Guidelines on O & M requirements for various technologies

        A list of Doís and Doníts for developers, contractors and operators.

        Better regulations at some level


Currently, the local township is the primary responsible party for assuring proper operation of community systems.  This is not working particularly well.  The TAC did discuss some suggestions with regard to where this responsibility should be if we could improve the regulatory system.




Wastewater Flow Study --- Ted passed out a final draft of the Wastewater Flows from Single Family Dwellings.  Ted summarized the results of this study.  Motion by Del, supported by Larry, that the flow study be approved for distribution by the TAC, and that an executive summary be prepared for publication in various newsletters.  Motion carried.


Ingham County Conservation Center --- Ted says progress is being made, but design is not yet complete.  Design concept is the use of a recirculating constructed wetland with nitrification, due to the flow fluctuations.  Ted will keep members informed so anyone wishing to visit or help during installation will know the schedule.


Commercial Flow Study --- The TAC discussed in some detail what the TAC should tackle with regard to this study.  Should TAC members consider providing some funding to have an MSU student do the leg-work on a commercial flow study?  Members are requested to search their files to begin to assemble any information that would be helpful to such a study.  Send or bring any information to Ted.


Training Center Activities ---  Ted indicated that they have had to cancel the Onsite Systems Design Course scheduled for this fall at the training center for lack of registrants.  It will be rescheduled for this winter some time.  An effort will be made to publicize training center activities better, and Ted is looking for help from members and member organizations.


Sanitarian Ready Reference --- Steve passed out copies of Garyís work to date on the Ready Reference.  The material was briefly reviewed and discussed by the TAC.


Del expressed a concern that we be careful to not violate copyright laws with regard to copying some of the tables and other information in the packet. 


Chuck suggested that we get a complete packet of information to Del, Larry, Bob Deatrick and Regina to provide a final review, and communicate comments to Gary White.  Chuck went through the packet section by section for the new TAC members.  Steve will fill Gary in on our game plan.


M.W.E.A. Membership ---


Chuck went over a letter he received from MWEA regarding their representation on the TAC

Motion by Del Mokma, support by Bob Long, to conduct a mail ballot on the addition of MWEA as a member organization of the TAC.  Larry is to conduct the mail ballot.

Proposed Oakland County Code Amendments --- Bob Long passed out copies of the Public Notice for a revision of the Oakland County Sanitary Code to require inspection of onsite systems every 5 years (all systems).  A public hearing is to be held on October 2, 2002 to hear comments on the proposed amendments.  Copies of the proposed code revisions may be obtained by contacting Bob Long at the Oakland County Health Division.




Due to a lack of time, discussion of any new business items was postponed to future meetings.




Next Meeting - November 4, 2002

Location --- MSU, Turfgrass Research Center




Future Meeting Dates:         

            January 15, 2003




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