Posted by Richard Perlberg on May 30, 2017
PROGRAM: Mike Archinald introduced Dr. Greg Tatara, utility director for MHOG, who spoke about emerging trends in waste water treatment.
  • President-elect Terry Gill ran the meeting today.
  • Dash or Crash update. Donna Craig asked for all receipts, etc. to be turned in within the week so that books can be closed by end of June. Next year’s Dash or Crash date is May 19. Lori Lalama said we got a thank you note from Howell Rotary for letting them set up a tent for Tour de Livingston; they will return the favor for us in October.
  • Dirk DeWinkle said he will have tickets for LeConcours de Livingston, which is Love Inc.’s big fundraiser June 30. Early bird tickets are only 30 bucks.
  • Stan Schafer called for volunteers at Gleaners Saturday.
  • George Moses said Rotary Riders makes its first ride at around Kent Lake tomorrow at 6 a.m.
Greg Tatara, got his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and joined MHOG (Marion, Howell, Osceola and Genoa townships) as its utility director in 2006. The utility serves 20,000 customers. Greg was named Facilities Director of the Year in 2012.
Greg noted that the Clean Water Act of 1972 had a positive, dramatic impact on the quality of our nation’s water supply. Two dramatic examples were shown in photos: the famed burning river in Cleveland and the horrid-looking Red Cedar River where Williamston used to dump untreated water. Both are much better today.
Greg then turned to five significant trends in the field of waste water treatment:
  1. Pharmaceuticals in wastewater. The issue ahead is which treatment processes will be required to remove these drugs.
  2. Infrastructure condition. Many facilities were built about 40 years ago because of the Clean Water Act. They are nearing their useful lifespan. They have been rated nationally as D-plus, which is a slight improvement. Most money will have to be raised locally as the feds provide very little money for waste water capital projects.
  3. Qualified operators. It’s not seen as an attractive profession, and educational demands have increased with technology advances. About 50 percent of the professionals in the field are expected to retire in the next five years.
  4. Direct Effluent Re-use. Only about 7-8 percent of effluent is currently reclaimed. There are many opportunities to better use this resource, especially in regions --- such as the Southwest – were water is at a premium.
  5. Bio-solids Disposal. Historically, these solid by-products found homes on farm fields as cheap sources of nitrogen and phosphorus. But those options are dwindling with the advent of corporate farming. What, asked Greg, will we do with all the stuff we produce while treating waste water?
Maribeth Regnier grabbed the Ace of Spades.