Re: Sewer-Generated Sprawl and Request for Treatment System Information
My Duck Lake community has been resisting pressures to replace a fundamentally sound lagoon sewage treatment system with long regional pipelines that would encourage unwanted development sprawl across miles of agricultural and open land. Our Calhoun County public works officials finally agreed to consider any specific alternatives that our public could quickly develop, and our helpful State Senator arranged for DEQ enforcement staff to discuss some key requirements and potentially useful Michigan sewage systems with us. Consistent with the nature of the entire process, however, DEQ staff declined to conduct the agreed-upon meeting and we had to file an FOI request for the needed information. Now the DEQ FOI Officer seems to be telling us that the agency lacks the ability to provide basic information on Michigan sewage systems. We can proceed without certain information but would appreciate hearing from anyone who knows whether the DEQ can or cannot generate lists of:
- Michigan sewage treatment systems that are discharging onto/into the ground;
- Michigan systems that are discharging into surface water;
- Michigan lagoon systems that are discharging into surface water;
If you believe that the DEQ can generate this information, please try to provide the precise name of the data base and other specific words to use in obtaining information from DEQ enforcement activities that have been on the pipeline side at every twist and turn in the process.
I would also appreciate hearing from anyone who knows of good, small Michigan sewage treatment systems that we might wish to visit. We are particularly interested in lagoon systems that discharge into surface water. There include (1) systems that use the traditional clarifiers and phosphorus reduction, and (2) systems that discharge into natural or constructed wetlands.
Finally, many of you know how outrageous the Duck Lake situation has been and how we have one of the fronts in a potentially much larger sprawl threat. We haven't had much time to devote to the underlying problems lately, but will always have time to answer questions from the Governor's office about how the Clean Water authorities are being used to push unnecessarily elaborate sewage "solutions" that would encourage classic development sprawl.
Duck Lake, Calhoun County