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Kalkaska County Looking to Repeal Septic Ordinance PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Friday, 01 February 2019 11:18


The Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners is considering repealing the point of sale (POS) septic ordinance that was amended into the District 10 Health Department Health Code in 2006. This ordinance requires inspection and correction of inadequate or failing septic systems at the time of sale of a home. The Manistee Lake Association and many area citizens worked hard to get this ordinance added to the Health Code in order to protect our ground and surface waters and the public health from the significant threats posed by inadequate septic systems. Since Michigan does not have a uniform septic system law, the local health department sanitary codes are the only regulatory tool available to address this problem.


An in depth study by Michigan State University revealed, of the more than 1.3 million septic systems in use in Michigan, as many as 10% are failing to properly treat waste water, allowing for the potential contamination of our ground and surface waters by dangerous pathogens and other contaminants. Repealing this ordinance would remove the only regulatory protection that exists to address this threat.


Gary Salisbury, President of the Manistee Lake Association, with the approval of the MLA Board of Directors has sent the following letter to the county Board of Commissioners expressing the MLA’s opposition to this action. In addition, several citizens have already commented to the Board of Commissioners about this matter and other local citizens and organizations who share our concerns over this matter have or will soon be voicing their opposition to repealing this ordinance.


Mr. Kohn Fisher, Chair

Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners

605 N. Birch Street

Kalkaska, Michigan 49646


Dear Chairman Fisher:


As President of the Manistee Lake Association, the Board of Directors has authorized me to send this letter to the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners on their behalf. We are concerned that the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners is contemplating rescinding the current ordinance that requires inspection and correction of inadequate septic systems at the point of sale.

We are adamantly against this change. The Manistee Lake Association has long been a steward in protecting our lake and its watershed. To repeal this ordinance would mean that we have taken a negative step in preserving our ground and surface waters. The Manistee Lake Association along with many other concerned citizens worked long and hard to see this ordinance added to the District Health Code. We don’t want to see all that work and effort tossed aside.

There remain many homes on the lake and elsewhere in the County that do not have adequate septic systems, and some continue to use dry wells. Our water table is such that contaminants and pathogen containing sewage will leach into the lake and its watershed. We cannot hope to have usable clean water without the proper laws and ordinances to help protect it.

Eliminating this ordinance will remove the only protection now in place to protect the public health and environment from the threats posed by inadequate septic systems. This is totally unacceptable.

The Manistee Lake Association is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the lake and its watershed for residents and future generations. Retaining this ordinance is an important component of that mission.

We understand that Kalkaska County must hold a public hearing before the ordinance can be repealed. Because we have many members who want to address the Board on this matter but are out of state during the winter months, we request any such hearing not be held until our members return to Michigan. We also request that we receive notice from the Board of Commissioners when such hearing is scheduled so we can ensure that our members are aware of the time and place so they can make their feelings known about this proposal.


Gary Salisbury, President

Manistee Lake Association


Cc: Dr. Leigh Ngirarsaol

Ms. Deborah Hill


The County Board of Commissioners must hold a public hearing on this proposal before they can take any action to repeal the ordinance. In fact, since it took all ten counties that make up the District 10 Health Department to approve adding it to the Health Code, all ten Boards of Commissioners must approve its repeal. Since it is important that the County Board hear a loud and consistent voice from all those concerned about this action, every individual who wants to see this ordinance retained is encouraged to make your voice heard through direct contact with our County Board of Commissioners, as well as the Boards of the other nine counties, and at the public hearing, once it is scheduled. We have asked the Board to delay any such hearing until such time as many of you return from your winter homes. We will keep you informed on this matter through the MLA web site, email blasts and the MLA Facebook page.


If you have any questions about this feel free to contact President Gray Salisbury or other local residents currently involved including Seth Phillips and Shug Brandell.


Last Updated on Friday, 01 February 2019 14:14
Welcome to Our Website

Welcome to the new and improved Manistee Lake Association web site. We hope you like the look and the many additional features. We have tried to make the site far more useful as a source of information and communication. Many of the features are in the members only area so we encourage everyone to become a member and to register for the member area. Access is free to MLA members. Members please make sure to update your member information so we have current contact information for you. If you are a new resident who does not receive our newsletter, please give us your contact information so we can add you to our database. Just click on the contact us link under website feedback on the lower right of this page and submit your information.

We invite comments and suggestions to improve the site as well. We want to make this site as useful and user friendly as we can.  We have tried to minimize some features to lessen download times for those of you with slower internet connections. We will continue to add information to the site and to improve features as we go so please check back often and let us know what you think. I hope you enjoy our new home on the web. Spread the word around. Manistee Lake can always use more friends.


Manistee Lake


Update on Manistee Lake Imprpovement Board Activities and Lake Studies PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 09:49

The Manistee Lake Improvement Board (MLIB) concluded its 2018 schedule of activities with its end of the year meeting on November 26, 2018. MLIB’s consultant, Progressive AE presented its 2018 Report on Manistee Lake water quality and invasive species surveys and activities. Water quality of Manistee Lake has remained fairly stable with good dissolved oxygen values and fair clarity. Other parameters such as conductivity and PH were normal as they have been in previous years. Phosphorus levels in the water were also low. This report is posted on the Manistee Lake Association (MLA) web site.


MLIB approved treatment of the identified 9 acres of Eurasian Milfoil that were found in the lake during the spring survey. Subsequent surveys demonstrated that our limited, selective chemical treatment of these areas was successful as no live milfoil was found. The MLIB has been evaluating a new opportunity to resume the use of milfoil weevils. A company in Kalamazoo is undertaking a research effort with the State of Michigan to rear milfoil weevils and place them in three lakes. This company is also looking to market excess weevils from this effort. There are many as yet unanswered questions about resuming the use of weevils for milfoil control in Manistee Lake. However, in order to be able to consider this option along with continued chemical spot treatment, the MLIB has placed a deposit with the company producing the weevils which will allow us to determine, once our Spring milfoil survey is complete, which treatment option is the best choice for our lake.


MLIB also received a presentation from Dr. David Jude on the fishery research effort that has been on going for the past three years. While a final report is not ready yet, preliminary results indicate that the fishery in Manistee Lake has improved significantly from previous years. Seine and gill net surveys found an increased diversity of fish species and more importantly, a significant increase in minnow populations and diversity of species over previous years. Additional data on fish age, diet and chemical and algae analyses is not yet available. Once the report is complete, it will be posted on the MLA web site.


The Joint MLA/MLIB Fish Improvement Team is proceeding with its project to plant minnows in Manistee Lake next Spring. This project, once approved by the Department of Natural Resources, will result in planting of 425,000 Golden Shiner, Emerald Shiner and Fathead minnows. The MLA approved covering the $10,000 cost of this project.


Lastly, the MLIB accepted the final audit report from the auditing firm of Tobin & Co., P.C. This is the second audit conducted as required by state statute. No issues were identified in the audit which indicated that the MLIB is properly accounting for and managing your tax dollars.


MLIB meetings were scheduled for 2019 as follows: Monday, May 20, 2019 at the Coldsprings Township hall, Monday July 22, 2019 at the Excelsior Township hall and Monday October 21, 2019 at the Coldpsrings Township hall. All meetings are at 7:00 P.M.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2018 11:03
MI Shoreland Stewards Program Earns Major Award PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 11:39

Reprinted with permission from Michigan Lake Stewardship Association


MI Shoreland Stewards Program Earns Major Award


By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director


Each year The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS founded in 1980)  awards individuals or teams for design, facilitation, or performance of exceptional education and outreach activities supporting community understanding and appreciation of lake and reservoir management.

NALMS recently recognized the MI Shoreland Stewards Program as earning the award for 2018.


The MI Shoreland Stewards Program is a multi-faceted approach to engaging and empowering lake property owners to protect and restore their lakefront property. The program can also be utilized by lake groups to help promote healthy lake front property management, and provide special recognition to their property owners by registering their lake group on the website. An icon will appear on the MiSS website for their lake group, so they can access promotional materials and see the results of surveys from their lake. They can also use this in conjunction with a whole lake shoreline assessment to track the status of their lake’s shoreline over time. This program has created significant interest regarding inland lakeshore protection.


MLSA and the MNSP provide financial and other support to the on-going operation of the Shoreland Stewards Program



Bill to Fund Lake Boards, Invasive Species Control and More Introduced in Michigan Senate PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 11:35

Reprinted with permission from Michigan Lake Stewards Association




By Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director


On November 8, 2018, veteran Michigan Legislature Senators ROBERTSON, MEEKHOF and CASPERSON introduced SB 1136 to establish an Inland Lake Aquatic Invasive Species Control and Eradication Fund.  The Bill also requires the MDEQ to establish a formal program for Lake Associations, Lake Boards, Property Owners Associations and SAD’s, to apply for grants from the Fund to control and eradicate Inland Lake Aquatic Invasive Species.


The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, which will meet at on Tuesday November 27, 2018 at 0830am in Lansing.


It appears that some of the requirements are:  Applicants must be legally formed entities, applicant lakes must have public access, and a professional must be used to create and manage the control and eradication plan.  No funding sources were mentioned in bill, but the language does require that all allocated funds remain in the fund each fiscal year, with transfer of unused funds to the Michigan General Fund.


It is anticipated that additional information will be available after the Senate Committee meets.  It is not known at this time if there is support for this bill in the Michigan House.  Since the Legislature is in a Lame Duck session the outcomes could be quite interesting.


Following this link will provide access to more information:


10 Ways to Help Manistee Lake PDF Print Email
Written by Seth & Carolyn Phillips   
Saturday, 03 May 2014 12:12

Just a reminder to all our lake residents and users on easy things you can do that will help protect  Manistee Lake water quality. (From the Manistee Lake  Homeowners Guidebook)

1. Don’t use lawn fertilizer or weed killer.

2. Help prevent the spread of invasive species! If you trailer your boat

from lake to lake, wash your boat and trailer before launching back

into Manistee Lake.

3. Water the lawn sparingly to avoid washing nutrients and

sediments into the lake.

4. Don’t feed ducks and geese near the lake. Waterfowl

droppings are high in nutrients and may cause swimmer’s itch.

5. Don’t burn leaves and grass clippings near the shoreline.

Nutrients concentrate in the ash and can easily wash into the lake.

6. Don’t mow to the water’s edge. Instead, allow a strip of natural

vegetation (i.e., a greenbelt) to become established along your

waterfront. A greenbelt will trap pollutants and discourage

nuisance geese from frequenting your property.

7. Infiltrate drainage from your downspouts rather than letting it flow

overland to the lake.

8. Don’t dump anything in area wetlands. Wetlands are natural purifiers.

9. Have your septic tank pumped every 2 to 3 years.

10. Don’t be complacent—our collective actions will make or break

the lake!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:29




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