|Semantics mean everything,|
and naming this tank meant
the difference between a
permit or no permit.
According to the International Living Future Institute, Desert Rain’s greywater system consists of four principal elements:
- Primary tank for trapping solids and oils
- Subsurface constructed wetland for secondary treatment of suspended solids and organic material
- Storage for treated greywater
- Irrigation system for treated greywater reuse
Desert Rain’s greywater treatment system was designed with the intent that it could be used in the future to treat not only the greywater, but all of the “wastewater” generated by the residence. The primary tank and constructed wetland are designed and sized to meet DEQ specifications for onsite wastewater treatment for three dwelling units – which is how DEQ classifies Desert Rain’s detached guest apartments. When the local sewer code is amended to allow onsite treatment and reuse of wastewater – including blackwater – Desert Rain’s constructed wetland system will be capable of treating (to reuse standards) the full wastewater from three residences.
Recalling my experience with a Tier I permit, I felt their pain first hand. It has been over five years since the Oregon graywater guidelines were developed by a statewide advisory committee, so they are probably overdue for review given the experience of the 20 to 25 permits issued statewide to date.