Meeting Minutes

Technical Advisory Council


Onsite Wastewater Treatment

July 9, 2008





Meeting held at 10 am in MSU Agronomy Barn (small conference room).


Members & alternates present: Chuck Cousino, Tony Drautz, Ric Falardeau, Ben Foster, Randall Gregory, Larry Johnson, Ted Loudon, Laura Pobanz, Dan Wagner, Steve Williams, Regina Young


Guest Present: Scott Hankus, Macomb County


Review of agenda. Motion by Regina, Support Dan to accept agenda. Approved.


Meeting Minutes of January & April were approved via email. Minutes for May 14, 2008 reviewed.  Motion by Larry and second by Ben to approve the minutes. Approved.





Website postings – TAC web information has been re-structured to logical order. Meeting minutes from July 2007 on need to be posted. Ben has minutes and will get them posted.


Commercial Flow Study – Laura Pobanz & Scott Hankus from the MCHD were present for discussion regarding the flow study. Chuck inquired about the layperson’s perspective of the statistical verbiage. Steve Williams indicated that the data set or number in each of the facility types would be valuable to include in the table after the conclusions and recommendations. Ric suggested a brief explanation for each type that describes how the data was evaluated.  Scott clarified that all values were reported as gallons per day however the raw number of gallons would have been based on (quarterly or other frequency) water meter readings. Discussion on the method of obtaining the data, variables in interpretation, difficulty in obtaining data, and the addition of a confidence interval followed. Discussion regarding release of report with consideration of the above. Steve suggested that an explanation to the reader be added regarding the content and intent of the data and the context in which it should be applied and of its value as a guideline. Additional comments and suggestions were provided.


Tollgate Training Center (MOWTEC) – Ted spoke to the MSU Department Head  who is aware of the need for MOWTEC and is considering assigning new staff/new positions to the oversight responsibilities of the training center. No timeline was set. Ted indicated that he intends to operate MOWTEC in 2009. A meeting or letter to the Department Head would be valuable. Steve Williams will draft a template letter of support for each affiliate to use. The letter will be addressed to Chuck Cousino, TAC Chair. The template letter will include an introduction regarding why TAC has come together, the number of on-site systems and the importance to groundwater/surface water, and conclusion of how MSU can assure MOWTEC, it’s role and viability. Steve will provide template to Chuck for review and final distribution to each TAC member. Members will then seek a signed copy of the letter from their affiliates.  Ted reported a recent interest in a watershed component being added to the training center. The Michigan Ground Water Association also had previously considered adding a well/groundwater component at MOWTEC.  All agreed that the center would be a good location for such training opportunities. Tony will contact MGWA and Mike Gaber of MDEQ regarding adding well training to MOWTEC.


Work day calendar needs to be set for late August. Ted will work on scheduling work day(s).


Ted reported that Sean Nalepka, of MDEQ, has agreed to teach the soils class at MOWTEC. Discussion about enhancing the soils training class at MOWTEC.



MDEQ Report– Ric identified that an internal meeting was held with Steve Chester, MDEQ Director, and other department management staff regarding the groundwater discharge permitting process and the creation of a  “value stream mapping” process workgroup. The process would be similar to a MDOT process and would focus on permitting process in terms of communication and improving the process for all parties. This workgroup would focus on systems less than 20,000 gallons per day. Representatives of TAC will likely be requested to participate in the workgroup.


No new action regarding statewide legislation or the Community System Guidance Document.


Septic Tank Risers document –Chuck reported on  Draft 3. Ric suggested a look at HDPE and whether they are never to be used or under certain situations. Regina suggested consideration of matching the material to tank location and whether or not it is in a high water table area or subject to surface water runoff, downspouts, etc. Discussion of experiences with cast in HDPE with a concrete sealer. Dan’s experience with this is that 50% of time HDPE will leak. Dan reported pro’s and con’s of HDPE. It is durable, readily available, easy to work with as it doesn’t require special tool to cut to height, and covers (gasketed or not) are readily available. Dan anticipates that there will be demand for the use of HDPE. Dan reported his experiences with an inability to get good tank vacuum testing when HDPE is used. Discussion on the benefits of adapter plates, cast in risers, riser sizing, loading rates followed. Dan will look into loading rates for riser lids. Dan discussed a product (Fume Guard) that is a reusable septic seal and provides an odor-trapping, pliable barrier between the concrete manhole cleanout and riser cover.







Time of Sale Program findings-Regina briefly discussed findings on leaking tanks, lack of understanding by the layperson of the significance of leaking tanks and the BEDHD First Six Month Report.



Future meeting dates – September 25th,  9:45 a.m. at MSU Agronomy Barn.



Motion to adjourn by Dan W. and supported by Ted L.   Meeting adjourned at

12:15 p.m.


Approved 10-10-08



Regina Young, Secretary