A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vols Vacillate on Greywater

I found the following helpful information and septic tank pumping schedule in the Bullrun Creek Watershed newsletter -  Tennessee state law prohibits the discharge of “grey water”, or water from a washing machine, anywhere except to a septic tank. To extend the life of a septic tank that processes sewage, install a separate system for processing greywater. Spreading laundry loads throughout the week, instead of having a designated “laundry day,” can prevent an immediate overloading of the septic system. An overload of the system in a short period could prevent the separation of the solids from the liquids which can clog the drainfield. Overloading also occurs when the tank is not pumped regularly and the plumbing has become clogged or the tank has filled with solids. When this happens, harmful bacteria aren’t broken down properly (causing ground water contamination) or wastewater backs up into the home. 

I thought the recommendation to build a separate wastewater system for greywater was an excellent idea and consistent with practices elsewhere in the world where septic systems are difficult to maintain.

This Archinect School blog posting at the University of Tennessee (Samuel) describes student work on bio-retention beds where *...the five beds have now been planted full of native water loving goodness! The greywater bed is piped in, but can't be turned on until city ordinances allowing it have passed in June*.

It sounds like Tennesssee might be rethinking their stance on greywater reuse, at least considering a more local approach to decision making on the issue! Greywater governance in action.

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Tennessee - America at Its Best
~Official state slogan of Tennessee

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