Contact co-sponsors to support the bill and protect public health and public water
Editor’s note: FLOW supports the consideration of newly introduced legislation to control septic system sewage and looks forward to helping strengthen the bill’s provisions to ensure the strongest possible protections for public health and public waters. Please read the article, and use the links to contact the bill’s co-sponsors using the information below to express your support.
Wednesday marks an important moment in the decades-long effort to protect Michigan’s public health, wells, and water from pollution caused by failing septic systems. At 10:30 a.m. on Weds., Sept. 28, a state legislative committee will take up a bill requiring inspection of septic systems at the time a property is sold.
FLOW encourages the public to contact the bill’s co-sponsors—Rep. Yaroch and Rep. Rendon—to express support for their legislation to protect public health and public waters.
The House Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation will hear testimony on House Bill 6101, which was introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Macomb County, and Rep. Daire Rendon of Lake City, in Missaukee County. While the committee bill is not expected to vote on the measure Wednesday, the hearing could lay the groundwork for action after the November election, during the lame-duck session, or early in the 2023 legislative session. FLOW encourages the public to contact the bill’s co-sponsors—Rep. Yaroch and Rep. Rendon—to express support for their legislation to protect public health and public waters.
Michigan is the only state lacking a law to require inspection of septic systems. It is an urgent priority, with an estimated 130,000 failing septic systems in Michigan releasing approximately 9.4 billion gallons of poorly or untreated sewage into the soil and environment each year.
Michigan is the only state lacking a law to require inspection of septic systems. An estimated 130,000 failing septic systems in Michigan each year release approximately 9.4 billion gallons of poorly or untreated sewage into the soil and environment.
How Did We Get Here on Septic?
For two decades, proponents of the legislation have unsuccessfully attempted to secure passage by the legislature of such a law. FLOW and many of our allied organizations support a statewide septic code, working for years to lay the groundwork for passage. FLOW supports the introduction of H.B. 6101 and looks forward to helping strengthen the bill’s provisions to ensure the strongest protections for public health and public waters.
One of the witnesses scheduled to testify on Wednesday is Dr. Joan Rose, a Michigan State University researcher and microbiologist, who co-authored a study finding human fecal indicator bacteria in every river tested in a 64 river systems that drain approximately 84 percent of the Lower Peninsula.
Rose was a key presenter at the Michigan Septic Summit, hosted in November 2019 by FLOW and our partners and allies and attended by over 150 public health experts, scientists, local government representatives, nonprofit organizations, and interested citizens. At the Septic Summit, Dr. Rose spoke about her study’s finding on septic pollution.
The results were clear, Rose said. “The more septic systems in the watershed, the more human fecal source tracking bacteria in the water. If we want to keep E. coli and other pathogens out of our waterways, we need to address the problem of septic systems that may be failing to adequately treat our wastewater.”
FLOW continues to educate and empower the public on the need for a statewide septic system policy in order to protect public health, local communities, lakes, and ecosystems—especially groundwater, the source of drinking water for 45% of Michigan’s population.
To learn more, dive into FLOW’s original articles, videos, and other content on the need to stop septic pollution, including materials published Sept. 19-23 during SepticSmart Week, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annual educational initiative, at www.ForLoveOfWater.org and on FLOW’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Assuming a septic inspection reveals a failing system, how/who will bear the cost of the inspection and replacement? Since there are at least three stakeholders to the transaction (buyer, seller, and public per benefit to the commons), might I suggest it thusly be borne equally by each? I haven’t read the details of the proposed legislation, so perhaps this issue is already resolved. If not, I could see passage hitting a snag because of it. Still, I strongly support it!
Protection of our water systems is necessary for us all. . Please do your part!
No doubt there are failed septic systems affecting many waterways throughout MI. And I certainly support this legislation ….however simple arithmetic tells us a single CAFO spreading manure legally under current rules is much more likely to negatively affect local and eventually one of OUR awesome Great Lakes water quality …..In Gratiot county alone the amount of manure produced by the 20,000 plus farm animals is like have a city of 2 plus MILLION people discharging polluting waste without a septic treatment facility.
Shame on ALL the politicians sacrificing our beautiful states natural resources for shortsighted campaign donations from Farm Bureau and other anti environmental pro business at any cost entity. ….
I am a cottage owner on Big Star Lake in Lake County. About a year ago I completed an on-line course through MSU where I learned about riparian rights, best practices for lake shore management and lake eco-systems.
I call on all legislators to support HB6101.
Please, we need to keep our land and water clean. I’m asking you to address septic systems as part of your job in protecting our land and water.