Nothing defines Michigan more than water. This begs the question, why is Michigan the only state in the union without a statewide septic sanitary code? This question came to the fore last year when Kalkaska County decided it wanted to get rid of its “point of sale” septic ordinance.
Most Michiganders don’t know that September 14-18 is Septic Smart Week — and that an estimated 130,000 septic systems in our state are failing. In many cases that means sewage and associated microorganisms are reaching groundwater, lakes and streams.
Michigan remains the only state without statewide regulations governing the inspection of septic systems, leaving the job of protecting waters from septic systems to local governments. A 2012 decision of the Michigan Supreme Court makes clear that, in the face of widespread septic system failures in a region, Michigan courts can nevertheless step in to enforce a local government’s duty to protect the waters of the state from sewage contamination.
Drumroll please! It’s time to unveil the top 10 most popular, most clicked, most-talked about blog posts written by FLOW in 2019.
Residents and wastewater users in Kalkaska County can rest easier at night. A bid to weaken septic and groundwater protections has failed. The November 22 meeting of the District 10 Health Board yielded what appears to be the final chapter of the year-long effort to prevent Kalkaska County from ending the point-of-sale septic inspection program contained in the District 10 Health Department Sanitary Code.
Can Michigan’s governance system succeed in solving one of our state’s worst water pollution problems? That’s the key question in the wake of FLOW’s Michigan Septic Summit in Traverse City on November 6. Attended by more than 150 people representing diverse points of view, the summit demonstrated that there is widespread interest in addressing a problem that is putting our waters and human health at risk.
Above: Nature Change’s Joe VanderMeulen and FLOW’s Liz Kirkwood welcome attendees to the Michigan Septic Summit on Nov. 6, 2019, at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagerty Center in Traverse City. All photos by Rick Kane. We really didn’t know what the level of public interest would be when FLOW started working with Joe VanderMeulen of Nature… Read more »
FLOW and several community partners will host the Michigan Septic Summit on Wednesday, November 6, at the Hagerty Conference Center in Traverse City. The public event aims to protect fresh water and public health from uncontrolled septic pollution. The one-day conference runs from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and costs $25 in advance (including lunch) or $30 at the door. Click here to register.
Most Michiganders don’t know that September 16-20 is Septic Smart Week — and that an estimated 130,000 septic systems in our state are failing. In many cases that means sewage and associated microorganisms are reaching groundwater, lakes and streams.
Michigan’s estimated 140,000 compromised septic systems aren’t just a water pollution problem — they’re a threat to human health. A new video documentary produced by Joe VanderMeulen of NatureChange.org and sponsored by FLOW, the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC), Leelanau Clean Water, and the Benzie Conservation District underscores the serious health risks posed by a hidden pollution source fouling groundwater, lakes, streams and drinking water across Michigan. Evidence is growing that on-site septic systems, used to handle and break down sewage and other household wastes in areas without public sewage treatment systems, are contributing to disease.