GLA is currently providing technical and professional counsel to two of the four local governments in our watershed. During March and April, Kasson and Empire Township boards will be considering passage of a unified well and septic inspection ordinance. GLA’s watershed biologist, Rob Karner, along with assistance from members of the Glen Lake/ Crystal River Watershed Protection Project has been presenting critical facts and providing answers to township official’s questions.

It is our hope that both townships will join Glen Arbor and Cleveland Townships in better protecting our surface and groundwater from septic pollution by adopting a unified inspection ordinance. This mandatory septic inspection ordinance also
includes drinking well inspections since malfunctioning septics can also pollute nearby drinking water. The price for an inspection is $300 to $500, the cost of which in most cases can be rolled into the property sale.

A point of sale or time of transfer of ownership triggers an inspection. The ordinance would apply to the entire township and inspections will be administered by the health department on behalf of the townships. Older systems, which may not meet current codes, are grandfathered in as long as they are still functioning. Septic systems that are not functional must be repaired. If the system cannot be repaired, then a new system would need to be installed and the latest sanitary building codes would apply. Information on multiple financing resources is available through the county planning department.

Please consider contacting Empire Township Supervisor Carl Noonan at and Kasson Township Supervisor Greg Julian at and share your thoughts regarding your position on this important water protection topic. You can also attend either the Empire Township monthly board meeting Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 PM at the Empire Town Hall or the Kasson Township board meeting Tuesday, April 9 at 7 PM at the Kasson Township Hall.