For homes and other properties that are not connected to a public sewage system, septic systems are essential in keeping human waste out of our water system.
Unfortunately, over 100,000 septic systems in Michigan are failing and discharge over 30 million gallons of sewage every day. Septic tank sewage is loaded with human waste and pathogens which can enter the groundwater where it contaminates well water and pollutes our rivers, streams, and lakes.
Given the central role fresh water plays in our lifestyle and identity as the Great Lake State, it’s surprising that Michigan is the only state without a law that regulates septic systems to make sure they are doing their jobs.
Eleven counties exercise some oversight of septics, but in the remaining 72 counties these systems are completely unregulated.
One of MEC’s legislative goals is to prevent the water pollution caused by failing septic systems with a statewide septic code that will:
- Create a statewide septic registry
- Require periodic testing or inspections of septic systems
- Provide grant assistance to help low-income property owners make required repairs