Q & A with Wastewater Systems Warrior: Lowell Fagen
Recently, Lowell Fagen long-time Prescott resident and REALTOR® at Red Arrow Real Estate received a special award from Arizona County Directors of Environmental Health Services Association (ACDEHSA) acknowledging his tireless work in raising awareness and education for on-site wastewater systems. AAR recently profiled Fagen in the December issue of Arizona REALTOR® magazine and here he opens up about himself and his wastewater system advocacy.
Arizona Association of REALTORS®: How long have you lived in Arizona?
Lowell Fagen: I moved to Arizona from Iowa in 1987, after retiring from the insurance business. I joined a real estate firm owned by a good friend of mine. I’ve been working in real estate ever since.
AAR: How did you get started as an advocate?
LF: Most of my practice has been with rural properties. I’ve been the listing and/or selling agent, or consultant, for nearly 400 transactions involving properties served by an onsite system. Early on, I felt it important to learn more about these systems and as a result I had to ‘pick the brains’ of county agency personnel, septic system contractors and others. This eventually led to my involvement with regulators at the state level to discuss the key role of REALTORS® in transactions and inspections involving onsite systems.
AAR: Why is it important that REALTORS® have a voice when it comes to on-site wastewater systems?
LF: The rules and regulations regarding on-site wastewater systems have a direct effect on many real estate transactions. I think it’s important that we have a voice when it comes to new rules and regulations. Being a member of OWAC gives me the opportunity to advance the interests of Arizona REALTORS® in rulemaking and changes that are currently being considered.
AAR: Describe the Homeowner’s Septic Education program you introduced.
LF: This education program was designed to educate homeowners on the operation and maintenance of their septic systems. It was the first program of its kind in the state. At the first event we were expecting 70 people and had more than 160 turn up. In total we’ve had more than 500 people attend the four programs we’ve put on in Yavapai and Coconino County.
AAR: Why do you think this program has been so successful?
LF: We hit a hot button of need and interest. People who rely on on-site systems really need this training. I was in a meeting last week and have turned this over to people who can take this program statewide.
AAR: What are you currently working on?
LF: In between a few real estate transactions, I’m spending much my time working on the OWAC committee. I’m also serving with the AAR workgroup to update and revise the vacant land purchase contract.
AAR: What assistance would you like from your fellow AAR members and REALTORS®?
LF: When I was appointed to OWAC in the late 1990’s, I received input from REALTORS® around the state. This helped me get a perspective of issues relating to on-site systems that REALTORS® were facing around the state. If anyone has comments or questions to bring to the table, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org