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
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