Meeting Minutes

Technical Advisory Council


Onsite Wastewater Treatment

May 14, 2008




Meeting held at 9:45 am in MSU Agronomy Barn (large conference room).


Members & alternates present: Chuck Cousino, Ben Foster,  Ric Falardeau, Randall Gregory, Ron Lindsay, Ted Loudon, Laura Pobanz (for Gary White), Regina Young


Review of agenda: Approved. The minutes for April 4th meeting are unavailable for review and will be emailed.


Meeting Minutes of  January 30, 2008.  Reviewed: Decision to send out for email vote of the minutes




Website postings – Ben F. will post to web if Regina re-sends the minutes of 7-24-07 on. Publications are in a random order. Ben will consider a more logical order by category and by date.


Commercial Flow Study – Laura Pobanz from the MCHD provided a draft Wastewater Flow Study from Michigan Commercial Establishments. The group reviewed the document and offered questions, ideas, comments and suggestions. Laura will incorporate suggestions into the draft. Group agreed that study is good baseline study.


Tollgate Training Center (MOWTEC)- A workday should be scheduled for the center to perform maintenance at the facility. The group discussed the potential for late August including two consecutive days such as a Thursday & Friday. Ted has a list of work to be done. Discussed creating the distribution list for invitations with RSVPs that identifies the days and work areas that interest the individual. Discuss obtaining Advantex units from a subdivision that is being hooked to sewer and installing them at the center.


Discussion on the future of the training center. Ted spoke to MSU about the situation and some internal consideration of an MSU technician position to take over the center. No response or decisions regarding this have been made. Regina reported that a NSF contact might be interested in discussions. The group expressed concerns over NSF management as it relates to keeping the costs to attendees reasonable. 


Discussion of a TAC letter to the affiliates looking for parties interested in maintaining the center and a support base and identifying that there is no long-term commitment from MSU for administration of the facility. Ben suggested meeting with the Dean to discuss the issue as a follow-up to letters. Ric and Ted spoke of possibility of meeting with the Dean or the Extension Director. Ben pointed out the need for a “replacement for Ted” such as an individual or instructor with the specific responsibility of on-site wastewater.  Regina asked group to consider the value of petitions signed by TAC affiliate members in mass and presentation of petitions to MSU with a request. Ric inquired whether we are asking MSU to run the facility and/or MSU allow the training center to continue being administered by TAC. Ted pointed out that a University administers most training centers.  Ted will pull together a strategy and send to Chuck. He will also follow-up on the MSU technician proposal.



MDEQ Report– Ric relayed that there is little movement politically on the statewide code legislation. Jim Cleland is Acting Director of Water Bureau due to the retirement of Rich Powers. MALEHA is supportive of TAC reviewing the technical guidance draft document that MDEQ is drafting. MDEQ is working on an overall process to address the permitting issues surrounding issuance of permits for subsurface systems. This process will include various groups such as homebuilders, TAC, MOWRA, MEHA, local public health, etc.


The technical guidance document for Community Systems will need to be drafted by Ric’s group and reviewed by or with the assistance of TAC. There are few new plans coming in and problems with existing community systems are starting to surface that are unique to smaller systems. The escrow process may not be addressing the issues as they are related to individual operating costs versus replacement repair. There will be no additional (phosphorous removal) requirements for systems generating 6,000 to 10,000 gallons per day.



Septic Tank Risers document –Group reviewed the riser guidance document draft. Regina suggested bulleting some of the construction recommendations and perhaps a summary- separate or in addition to the text. Regina suggested the emphasis of the last paragraph should be placed on the importance of maintenance versus trends for programs. Randy asked about the intended audience and purpose. Group relayed that multiple groups such as manufacturers, users, regulatory agencies would reference the document. Much discussion and agreement that the document is very good.


Ron will work on formatting and sit with Chuck to finalize draft.




Ted inquired about the interest of a mini-expo given to the legislators and legislative aids regarding on-site systems.


Regina presented idea for a nutrient removal fact sheet that includes the sources of, role of septic systems and methods for reduction. Brief discussion of phosphorous in surface waters and the potential of on-site systems being a source.


Future meeting dates – To be conducted via email. (Emailed: NEXT MEETING is July 9th)


Motion to adjourn by Ron Lindsay and supported by Ted Loudon.  Meeting adjourned at 12:15.

Approved at 7-9-08 meeting.

Regina Young, Secretary