200 Feet Septic Setback from Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Aerial Photo04/12/13  The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) recently clarified a portion of the Indiana Septic Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3 that requires a 200′ separation between septic systems and a lake or reservoir that is used as a public water supply.  According to ISDH, since  Michigan City and other municipalities use Lake Michigan as a source for their public water supply, all septic systems must now be 200′ from the lake.  This “ruling” by ISDH has dramatically affected people in the communities of Long Beach, Beverly Shores, Ogden Dunes,  Gary and Michigan City.

In the past, ISHD and County Health Departments boarding Lake Michigan (LaPorte, Lake and Porter Counties) have not considered Lake Michigan a public Water supply so the recent clarification from ISDH has caused quite a stir.

Working to find a solution,  ISDH came up with a new Guidance Document entitled “Residential Onsite Sewage Systems and Separation Distances to Public Water Supply Lakes and Reservoirs.”  This document allows septic systems that use an NSF 40 certified secondary treatment device such as Meade Septic Supply LLC’s Aero-Tech Aerobic Treatment Unit to once again maintain a 50′ minimum separation distance.   Keep in mind the actual  separation distance is not measured to the water’s edge, but instead to an established high water mark around elevation 582.95′ .  The reasoning behind the policy to allow these systems to be closer than 200′ to the lake is that treated wastewater has a lower environmental impact and reduces the threat to public health.

I have been consulting with officials, regulators, builders, engineers and installers in the Lake Michigan coastal communities regarding this issue.    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions 574-533-1470.   To learn more about Aero-Tech Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU), view THIS video at Meade Septic Supply LLC.   Click HERE to find Aero-Tech certified installers in your area.

Stuart