Michigan lacks statewide regulation on inspecting and maintaining septic systems once they are constructed. Local governments have the ability to adopt ordinances for septic systems, but so far fewer than a dozen counties and townships have ordinances regulating septic system inspection and maintenance.
This is an important water quality concern because research by Michigan State University and others have shown septic system failure contributes significant pathogens and nutrient pollution to Michigan’s surface and groundwater, which may be mistakenly blamed on agricultural runoff.
However, legislation introduced in 2018 that would have required statewide inspection and maintenance of septic systems failed in part due to local government objections to the state-run mandate for managing septic programs.
Contact: Laura Campbell | 517-679-5332
MFB #82 Nonpoint Source Pollution and Watershed Management