MSU Extension offers online decentralized waste water treatment continuing education

Onsite wastewater professionals can earn required Continuing Septage Education (CSE) credits or Continuing Education Credits (CEC) through MSU Extension online program.

A man examining a septic tank

Over 1.4 million homes and businesses in Michigan use onsite wastewater (aka septic) systems to handle their waste water. Michigan Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Department estimated in 2016 that 40% of all new development will use septic systems. Proper maintenance and use are essential to keep these systems functioning properly to prevent ground and surface water contamination. 

Designers, installers, service providers and pumpers play a vital role in onsite wastewater management. Professionals design the systems based on the property’s unique characteristics. Installers install the system based on detailed specifications and requirements. Pumpers and service providers assist in maintaining the system through regular maintenance, inspection and troubleshooting.

Professional engineers and septage haulers both require annual continuing education credits. The engineer’s education credit is a recent requirement in Michigan when their license is renewed. While septage haulers have had a licensing requirement for over 40 years, the education credit requirement is just beginning its second five year cycle.

Beginning on March 11, 2020, MSU Extension is sponsoring an online, self-paced training for designers, installers, service providers and pumpers. Participants will receive 16 CSC and 1.6 CEC credits upon successful completion of all nine training modules. A diverse educational approach consisting of readings, narrated presentations, videos and websites are used. A quiz and/or discussion contribution is required to advance to the next module.

Module topics include:

  • Onsite wastewater –Past, present and future
  • Types of pollutants
  • Septic tanks design & function
  • Soil component
  • Wastewater transport
  • Advanced & alternative treatments
  • Water reuse
  • High-strength wastewater treatment
  • Case studies

Cost for the training is $125. Training reimbursement is available for most Michigan Licensed Septage Haulers through MDEQ.

For more information on the training, including specific location information or to register, visit

*EGLE presentation by David Cotton at MECC conference, 2016

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