REGIONAL ROUNDUP Craig is new sewage-treatment facilitator
In her new job, Sheila Craig is branching out from Fillmore County, where for many years she worked with the Extension Service. She will take on five more counties, helping them improve or replace old or septic systems.
She is the new community sewage-treatment facilitator for Dodge, Olmsted, Winona, Mower, Fillmore and Houston counties, working with the Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative. Nick Haig does the same job in Goodhue, LeSeuer, Steele, Rice and Wabasha counties.
In her new role, Craig tries to educate people in small towns or unincorporated areas that don't have community sewers about how they might be polluting and how to improve the systems.
She also might help homeowners learn how to properly maintain their systems and not put in the wrong chemicals, which can kill useful bacteria in their systems.
Craig began her new job Aug. 11 and already has met with about a dozen people in Taopi. She plans to meet soon with people in Andyville and Nicolville, two small unincorporated areas in Mower County.
The basic problem is that many of the private septic systems might be too old or aren't functioning correctly, she said. Unlike towns, where sewage systems aren't tested often, individual ones might be malfunctioning and no one would know, she said.
If the sewage is coming to the surface, or if it is piped directly into a stream, it's illegal, she said. Past studies have shown they can be a threat to public health.
The program is funded by a three-year federal grant.
Most of her work is educational. She serves as a liaison between homeowners and engineers or those with funds to make improvements, Craig said.
For more information, call Craig at (507) 765-3896 or Haig at (507) 332-6277.
-- John Weiss
Out and about
Wykoff's Fall Festival is looking for entries for its parade that begins at 11 a.m. Sept. 27. There is no charge for entries. For more information or to register, call Lynn Kidd at (507) 352-2242 or (507) 352-7242.
Also, the festival's HomeBrew Contest, which wasn't held the past few years, will return. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Wykoff Fire Hall. Categories are lagers and pale ales; light brown and ambers; porter and stout; and meads, fruit and holiday. For more information, call Brian Hoff at (507) 352-4053 in evenings or on weekends, or Sally Affeldt at (507) 352-2321; or bring your beers to the fire hall the day of the contest.
Mantorville has received a $53,000 matching grant from the National Park Service to buy new playground equipment for Riverside Park, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht. The money comes form the Land &; Water Conservation Fund.
Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center will hold an informational meeting on what can be done to keep air, water and soil clean.
The group formed to oppose the proposed building of a large tire-burning plant in Preston.
Winona County is offering training Sept. 29 for bartenders, bouncers, bar owners and wait staffs on how to spot phony identifications and to do alcohol compliance checks. Two two-hour classes are being offered from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both are at Winona County Community Health Services in Plaza Square Mall.
Pre-registration is required because space is limited and the cost is $10. For more information or to register, call 457-6400.
Regional Roundup appears Friday in the Post-Bulletin. If you have comments or news items, call John Weiss, regional reporter, 285-7749.