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MADISON — Mikel Plautz, an individual who serviced hundreds of septic systems without a valid license or certification in Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Columbia Counties as "PNP Septic Service," will pay $12,000 for violations of Wisconsin laws aimed at protecting public health, groundwater and surface water. As part of the settlement of the State's claims against him, Plautz also has agreed to cease servicing septic systems in the future.
Under Wisconsin law, people and companies who remove and dispose of scum, liquid, sludge or other wastes from private sewage systems such as septic tanks, holding tanks, and portable restrooms, must be certified.
Mikel Plautz has not possessed a valid certification to engage in septic servicing since June 1, 2002. He paid a citation of $803 in 2006 for servicing without a valid certification. He then proceeded to service at least 183 systems in Columbia County from 2007-2010, and at least 10 in Green Lake County in 2009-2010. Plautz also serviced 34 systems in July 2008 for a company that did not have a certified operator, signing either his name or another man's name on the maintenance cards that homeowners are required to submit to county officials.
At the request of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), county officials in Green Lake, Columbia and Fond du Lac counties reviewed their files to determine how many homeowners had submitted invalid certifications signed by Plautz. It was the counties' investigations that showed the more than 200 violations.
According to the complaint, Plautz charged between $125 and $200 to inspect and/or pump each septic system that he serviced, and the homeowners did not know he had put an invalid certification number on their forms.
"Every time Plautz illegally serviced and certified a system, he was taking business from licensed operators while putting the environment and the public's health at risk." Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that all environmental contractors comply with the law."
Assistant Attorney General Diane Milligan represented the State in this case.
Copies of the Judgment and the Stipulation and Order for Judgment are available at the following links: