by Karen Mackowiak, St. Joseph River Basin Commission
“We have a ‘WHAT’ system?!” That’s the reaction that often follows when a typical city dweller moves into a rural or suburban setting. More familiar with city sewers and the occasional hassle of tree roots in the lateral that connects to a city water system, most transplanted city dwellers know little of what a septic system is, where it’s located on their property (or even that it is located on their property!), and what they can or can’t do to insure that the system provides lasting, trouble-free service. Furthermore, they are occasionally apprehensive about the limitations of the system.
To aid with this critical transition, the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) and the St. Joseph River Basin Commission are planning to produce a video for distribution throughout the Indiana portion of the St. Joseph River Basin as well as the MACOG region. Funding for this project has been obtained through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, as part of a section 319 Clean Water grant. The funding focuses on the reduction or elimination of nonpoint source pollution through the development of educational materials or projects that address nonpoint source pollution elimination. This video project is only one component of the total grant project.
The video is being developed to highlight Indiana rules and conditions concerning septic systems. Proposed topics for inclusion in the video range from siting a septic system, factors associated with system failure, to general use and maintenance suggestions. Several copies of the video will be distributed to all public libraries in the area. Additionally, local health departments and local title companies will receive a number of copies for distribution to new homeowners.
In addition to the video, there are plans to develop a display covering the same information included in the video. The display could be used for participation in home improvement or home show-type venues, to further distribute this valuable information to new homeowners or prospective homeowners. When the video is complete, presentations will be provided, upon request, as part of the grant project.
For more information about the Michiana Area Council of Governments’ section 319 grant project, log on to the MACOG website at www.macog.com or the St. Joseph River Basin Commission website at www.sjrbc.com.