Technical Advisory Council


Onsite Wastewater Treatment

September 29, 2006


Call to Order


Meeting held 9:45 a.m. on September 29, 2006 Michigan State University, Agronomy Farm.


Members and alternates present: Chuck Cousino, William Danly, Bob Deatrick, Ric Falardeau, Larry Johnson, Ted Loudon, Del Mokma, Dan Sandahl, Gary White and Regina Young.


Guests present: none


Review of agenda. Add to the agenda a review of the TAC members list for verification. Approved with additions.


Meeting Minutes Reviewed. Moved by Del M. and support by Dan S. to approve the minutes as amended. Approved unanimously.




Website Postings—Ted has worked on getting the order form revised with a new picture of the tape and  then placing it on the web. Ted will check with his secretary on the progress.


Review member list: Regina will send out the members’ list to those not present to request any updates. Regina will send out revised list to all when completed.


Filter Fabric Suppliers list—A list of the suppliers was obtained. Ted has a list and will provide it for posting on the website.


Commercial Flow Study – Gary inquired about the outcome desired from the study. Chuck clarified that TAC is looking for a study that can address to a level of confidence specific information including seating capacity, number of meals, menu. The information that has already been obtained is from schools, churches and restaurants. A Michigan State University student began the study and Macomb will be working on the study. Bob D. suggested working with the Restaurant Association to address any reluctance to providing information. Gary reported that his department will work on the study over the winter. The TAC members will still provide information to Gary as they come across information. Ric will contact Northwest Cascade for information, which they may be willing to contribute.


Septic Tank Inspection Document-- Final edits to change the last sentence of item 1 b are needed to remove the compaction statement. Regina will check with Tony to get the revised pdf document and email with a ballot for a vote back to Regina. Regina will then email on to TAC for distribution and posting to the web.


Concrete Septic Tank Manufacturer’s Association --- Chuck reported that Orenco will not consider a blanket certification of a manufacturer. They still require testing of individual tanks for each installation. Ric suggested that one should support the other – field testing and plant testing. Discussion was held on how to get the word out to the design engineers. Chuck and Dan discussed the certification program at a MALEHA meeting. Gary identified that the concept of certified tanks was supported by MALEHA; however, the business perspective of the manufacturers regarding cost presents concerns. Bob asked if the cost is the real issue as opposed to the validity of the science. Bob asked if a financial incentive (grant or other financial assistance mechanism) could be used to support manufacturers becoming certified. Ted inquired about where the responsibility lays for the cost-with an individual or supported by public funds.  Information about leaking tanks is based on practical experience. Only one Arizona study is available. Dan has previously discussed the fact that NPCA is motivated to provide watertight tanks-due to the presence of plastic tanks. Regina inquired about any data available from counties with time of transfer/sale programs. Ric inquired about the inspection process for the installation of alternative systems and whether it contained information regarding leak testing. Ted identified that TAC should support the NPCA certification as a means to address concerns for leak testing. Regina will send out Best Practices Manual to TAC for sharing and distribution to respective affiliates and peers. Gary suggested that a map of the septic tank manufacturers in Michigan could be helpful.


Training Center Update --- Ted has reported a good response from septage pumpers at MOWTEC. Many have provided positive feedback to Ted. The MDEQ and Michigan Ground Water Association (MGWA) have met at Novi to see the facilities and discuss well training. A MGWA committee has been appointed to consider the creation of a well inspection training center.


MDEQ Community Systems --- Ric reported that a meeting has been held with MALEHA to discuss the Guidance Document for Community Systems. The MDEQ Director is in support of the creation of a guidance document. Four MDEQ appointees have been identified and the initial meeting is October 6th. There will be members from various groups at the meetings.


Regulatory Structure—Ric has sent out the revised document with revised names of agencies. Under the constructed wetland section Ric had included the term “or equivalent” after constructed wetland. Regina will request that Ben update the structure on the website.


Nitrogen Limits—MOWRA is working on a revised letter to MDEQ to try to bring consensus with the MDEQ regarding nitrogen limits as referenced in the Part 22 rules.


Grab Samples---Del and Ted have discussed grab samples and inquired about the content requested in the guidance document. Chuck identified the need is to address what they are, how they differ from other types of samples (composite), discussion on the technique for obtaining the sample, etc. Also address when to use them and/or not to use them, and what follow-up measures should be taken if the result indicates a need. Ric suggested clarifying that grab samples shouldn’t be linked to the NSF Standard 40.  




TAC Activities --Regina will prepare a brief paragraph regarding TAC Activities and where to find information at MOWRA. The paragraph will be approved by Chuck before sent to MEHA. Larry will put links on the MEHA website and Ric suggested links from the Land Development and Septage web pages.


Septage Waste -- Gary discussed a landfill in St. Clair county that will be a septage receiving facility. It is a pilot project. The effluent will be injected into the cells with a projected increase to the moisture content causing an increase in decomposition, creation of methane gas and overall reduction in landfill storage.  Chuck reported a state of the art facility in Livingston County, Hartland Township, is being also being constructed. At this facility part of the tipping fees will be returned to the local unit of government. Ric discussed the status of the facility in Grand Traverse. Discussion was held regarding the status of residuals management, receiving facilities, storage and land application.  


Meeting adjourned at 12 NOON


NEXT MEETING :  Wednesday, December 6, 2006