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Homeowners and Educators Books (306-star08-07)

Homeowners and Educators Books (306-star08-07)

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The Homeowners and Educators Book Grant was planned to kick off a three-year wastewater management pilot project in the Tofte Schroeder Sanitary Sewer District by providing each property owner and county educators with an informative book about individual septic systems.
The Homeowners and Educators Book Grant was planned to kick off a three-year wastewater management pilot project in the Tofte Schroeder Sanitary Sewer District by providing each property owner and county educators with an informative book about individual septic systems.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program on Apr 16, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain

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04/16/2010

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 Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program
Homeowners and Educators Books
Nancye Belding, Secretary,Tofte Schroeder Sanitary Sewer District July 30, 2008
Project No. 306-STAR08-07Contract No. B08883
This project was funded in part under the Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA’sOffice of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in cooperation with Minnesota’sLake Superior Coastal Program.
 
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Homeowners and Educators Book GrantThe Homeowners and Educators Book Grant was planned to kick off a three-yearwastewater management pilot project in the Tofte Schroeder Sanitary Sewer District byproviding each property owner and county educators with an informative book aboutindividual septic systems. A good reference book was seen as a way to raise awarenessabout septic maintenance and build support for the idea of wastewater management.The book selected was “The Septic System Owner’s Manual,” an excellent and highlyreadable source of information about onsite wastewater treatment and preventivemaintenance. 350 copies were purchased at a 40 percent discount. Copies were andmailed to all property owners and businesses in the district with onsite septic systems. Inaddition, copies were mailed or hand-delivered to county and township officials, allcounty schools and libraries, as well as Higher Education, Community Education and Uof MN Extension.The district also received a $500 matching grant from the Roundup Program sponsoredby Arrowhead Electric Cooperative towards the book project.A letter explaining the project and funding sources was taped to the inside cover of eachcopy of the book (letter is attached to this report).Response was favorable. District board members reported interesting discussions withseveral constituents, especially about mound systems which were not reviewed favorablyin the book but are a virtual necessity for much of the land in Cook County. HigherEducation staff expressed interest in collaborating with the district on a seminar aboutseptic maintenance open to realtors as well as the public at large.The district has also received two additional grants this year from the Clean WaterLegacy program which have aided in our goal of pursuing a wastewater managementplan:
 
$20,000 for compliance inspections for one-half of the district (on the south sideof Highway 61) and $100 pumping rebates for the 14 homeowners who wererequired to have their systems pumped as part of the inspection. This was a jointproject with Cook County, who also received funds for inspections of inlandlakes. The inspections have been completed and nearly half of the 133 systemswere deemed noncompliant, with 12 “Imminent Public Health Threats (IPHTs).”This information underscores the enormous need for more education about septicmanagement near Lake Superior.
 
$42,000 for a cost-share program to assist property owners with IPHT systems torepair or replace them. We believe there to be about two dozen systems within thedistrict based on a survey conducted two years ago. This grant requires us todevelop cost-share guidelines and to hold a public seminar on septic systemmaintenance. Attendance is open to all but is required of those applying for cost-share assistance. The cost-share guidelines have been developed and the seminaris scheduled for August 25
th
from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Birch Grove CommunityCenter in Tofte. A copy of the letter and attached cost share guidelines isappended to this report. The remaining copies of “The Septic System Owner’s
 
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Manual” will be given out at the seminar. We anticipate holding at least one moreseminar at a later date for those who cannot attend on August 25
th
. We are alsoresearching other options for financial assistance to those whose systems weredeemed noncompliant and should have that information available at the seminar.A press release was sent out explaining the STAR and CWL grants and was published inour two county newspapers: The Cook County Star and the Cook County News Herald.Chair Rick Anderson was also interviewed for our public radio station, WTIP, inresponse to the press release. Copies of the Star and News Herald articles are attached asseparate documents in the electronic report format and a copy of the news release is alsoappended to this report.In short, the book grant has served its purpose admirably for the district by firstincreasing awareness of the need for septic maintenance and management, and second,helping with our Clean Water Legacy grants to identify and begin the process of repairingnoncompliant systems as well as creating a management plan for regular pumping andinspections on a three-year cycle. We are now working with Karen Evens of MPCA tocontinue the work begun with the book grant and the CWL grants to create amanagement plan.

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