Waste material removed from septic tanks, dry wells, and other on-site waste water systems is called “septage”. Michigan law, Part 119 of Act 451, PA 1994, as amended, requires that persons engaged in the business of pumping septic tanks and other sanitary wastewater be licensed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE).
Material pumped by septage haulers must either be taken to a municipal waste water plant that will accept this waste material, or land apply it to a site that has been approved by the MDNRE and the local health department.
District Health Department #2 contracts with the state of Michigan to annually inspect trucks used by septage haulers to pump and haul septage. Additionally those septage haulers that have sites where they land apply septage must have those sites annually inspected by the health department. District Health Department #2 also investigates complaints related to unapproved practices by licensed and non-licensed septage haulers.
Property owners that have septic systems will have their septic tanks pumped periodically as part of their routine maintenance schedule. Typical pumping frequency is every 3 to 5 years, though it may vary depending on volume and strength characteristics of the wastewater at each home or business.
MDNRE’s web page for Septage Haulers Directory contains a list of licensed septage haulers for each county. The link is located to the right.