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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Only Six More Months to Go...

Well, Oregon is almost at the end of the path to greywater reuse *freedom*. After one year of citizen advisory board deliberations, followed by another year of DEQ rulemaking by staff and public review, this article in The Oregonian announced that the Oregon Environmental Quality Council approved the rules and regulations. Only a short six months left to go - DEQ needs to get the permit machine up and running to start collecting the permit fees in March, 2012!

The regulations require homeowners, schools, businesses, apartment complexes and others to apply for permits costing at least $50 a year. That's tougher than California, which decided in 2009 not to require permits for the simplest graywater systems. 

(NOTE REGARDING ARTICLE ACCURACY: DEQ's website indicates there is a $50 permit application fee, and a $40 annual fee which if the system owner submits an annual report to DEQ, the $40 annual fee will be waived most years, but this is apparently limited to single family houses and duplexes such as that developed by the Moon brothers. If you want to save water at your business, or perhaps have a greywater reuse demonstration project at your local school, food COOP, or Camp Rilea, for example, apparently your new-permit application fee is $584 ($534 new-application fee and the $50 annual fee).

But not all is quiet on the greywater front.

Some global greywater experts have contacted me and indicate that while the Oregon rules are not unreasonable, they will only promote illegal systems.

And what do some Oregonians have to say about the news? The comments following the announcement in The Oregonian are a little disconcerting. 

Some nanny state, unless the state, the man, gives out rules and permits, it can't be sanctioned or have any possibility to work. Badges, don't need no stinking badges....

Oregon is fee crazy any way to hold up the citezens for another buck to feed larger government.People keep voting in these progressives and this is the result.Fifty dollars a year is ridiculous.Reminds me when the progressives came up with the ground water fees on top of the sewer fees.Remarkable . . .
Your local progressives are not for citezens feed into a ideoligy of huge government.

Now thats funny. In the 80's, the city required all rain downspouts to be connected to the storm sewers, and charged what? Yes, a big fee for each downspout. Then years later, they said please disconnect those down spouts. But the did not return your money for the fees or the cost for the piping.
I can tell you I heve remodeled many homes that had kitchen sinks, dishwashers, and tub/showers draining into 55 gallon drums full of holes in gravel buried beside the house. GRAY WATER! They worked just fine. But that was illegal, so everyone had to correct it. Yes, more fees and costs for you the consumer. Now they want you to do what? Yes , deflect gray water, but there is a catch. FEES.
A good idea with a bad city taking your money again, to pay the wages of those who now have nothing to do in a down construction cycle.
Don't worry. In ten years they will charge you to remome them. They will still need money!

How will a $50 annual fee "encourage" gray water use? It will never pay for itself vs. wasting the water. I understand a one-time inspection, but annual fees? That is absolutely ridiculous. I am not an anti-government person in the slightest, but this makes zero sense. 

FIFTY years ago my mother dumped all her clothes wash water onto our lawn every week ... to keep it thick and green!

The fees are to "make-up" for the revenue lost from sewers. Why did I have to connect to the sewer, and disconnect from a perfectly good cess pool. What a racket!

Wrong, they will continue the sewer charge anyway so grey water users will pay both charges.
Use bleach when you wash and you can just kiss your plants and your soil goodbye. Greywater is okay as long as people use environmentally friendly products for their soaps, etc...I wouldn't use sewer water on anything until treated and then it is really high in chlorine.

The re-use of grey water is kinda of a no brain er. Oregon's typical fashion of getting in our pockets is where this idea goes askew. "permits costing at least $50 a year". Are they really going to charge yearly for a one time installation permit? Since Portland sewer charges us based on our water usage, are they going to reduce our sewer bill to reflect the reduced water flow into the sewer system? They should if their actually serious about having people move in this direction. We all know though that governments desire for green money is greater than their desire for a green environment.

Will the new *hammer* help with Oregon's Integrated Water Resources Strategy? Hard to say since *gray water* is not mentioned anywhere in the summary of ideas for water management. Recycled water or *water re-use* is briefly mentioned, where *As of 2009, Oregon had permitted more than 120 water re‐use projects* Let's hope the $40-$50 per year fee does not hammer the already meager water re-use statistics.
* * *
Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.
 ~ American Comedian P.J. O' Rourke 

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