Traverse City News and Events

FLOW, Partners To Host Septic Summit Wednesday

By Beth Milligan | Nov. 3, 2019

FLOW (For Love of Water) and other partners will host the Michigan Septic Summit Wednesday (November 6) in Traverse City at the Hagerty Center from 9:30am-4pm.

The event aims to help attendees "explore emerging research on the human health and environmental risks presented by old and failing septic systems in Michigan, learn about local and regional programs and regulations adopted in response to surface water and groundwater quality threats, and foster dialogue toward more effective and geographically extensive efforts to reduce risks from septic system waste." Speakers will include FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood; Nature Change publisher Joe VanderMeulen; Scott Kendzierski, director of environmental health services at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan; Mark Borchardt, microbiologist and researcher at the U.S.D.A. Agriculture Research Service in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and others.

“Our wastewater can seem invisible being out of sight and therefore out of mind,” says Kirkwood. “But dealing with our septic issues is paramount in Michigan. This is the Great Lakes state. Whenever we flush, we run the risk of polluting our precious waters if we don’t adopt smart septic regulations.”

According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, an estimated 130,000 septic systems in Michigan may be failing. In many cases, that means sewage and associated microorganisms are reaching groundwater, lakes, and streams. However, Michigan is the only state in the nation that lacks a statewide sanitary code requiring regular inspection and maintenance of domestic septic systems.

Event registration is $25 in advance or $30 at the door and includes lunch. 

 

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