Comprehensive onsite wastewater management education programs offered by MSU

MSU Extension is offering onsite wastewater (septic system) educational programs for designers, installers, haulers, homeowners, business owners and municipal officials to improve use and maintenance.

Drinking water and wastewater disposal are two very important systems in any building. Many businesses, schools and offices have been forced to close when the water system is not working properly. While most homes and businesses are on “city” water and sewer systems, there are currently about 1.3 million homes that use septic systems in Michigan.

A septic system is an onsite method of handling the wastewater from any building rather than connecting to a sewer system. In many places, sewer systems are not available due to location and/or cost. The USEPA recently determined that properly designed and managed onsite wastewater system is a viable, long-term alternative to sewers.

Protecting your system is very important for the optimum use and longevity of the system and protecting health and the environment. Yet some people may not even know that they are on a septic system. Even more do not know the proper use and maintenance of these systems. Still more do not know what to do if there is a problem or system failure.

Michigan State University Extension is offering training for both professionals who design, install and maintain septic systems and homeowners, business owners and municipal people who use these systems.

The 2014 commercial programs will be held in Novi, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Gaylord and Iron Mountain starting in February 2014. There are two sessions offered at each location on consecutive days:

  • Key Ingredients of a Good Onsite System Treatment System (designed for providers new to the field or who would like a refresher)
  • Onsite Wastewater Design & Management (for the more experienced professional who has completed the “Key Ingredients” course above)

CSE and CEC credit approval is pending through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Reimbursement for training cost is available through MDEQ for most septage haulers Discounts are available for multiple attendees from the same company or agency.

For a program brochure and a complete list of location, dates, times and cost, visit the Comprehensive Onsite Wastewater Management Education registration page

Homeowner education programs will be held in Macomb, Livingston, Washtenaw and Oakland counties beginning in April 2014. These programs for the non-professional will cover what a septic system is, how it works and how to locate, determine the size, maintain and use a septic system for optimum longevity. Dates and locations for these program will be available on the MSU Extension events page by mid-February.

For more information on good septic system maintenance, read the Michigan State University Extension septic article series:

For information on some specific septic system issues, visit:

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