Storage For Graywater Required by State Regulations is Too Much
Subject: Too much greywater storage required by state regs
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001
From: Jeff Couture
To: "'Oasis Design'" <Oasis Design>Jeff wrote:
> Really appreciate the help.. I just got off the phone with the department of
> water quality for Wyoming and was flat out denied any variance and was also
> told it would have to be designed and submitted by a registered engineer!!
> Like you said they have rolled over most if not all of the septic/blackwater
> regs into the greywater design... which by the way you don't have to have an
> engineer design... don't figure!!!
> What I will try to do now is to go the "blackwater" route.... the ole
> American way .... "waste it while we got it mentality"...
> They seem to be worried about the system freezing... i.e. the reasoning behind
> the storage .. and I'll agree with you here too ... wrong!!!! They seem to
> think if they let it go "black" it won't freeze!!! and furthermore that
> tree's don't use enough water during the winter time!!!
> I think I've lost this round??
> Jeff CoutureJeff Couture from Albany county, Wyoming, writes on February 7th, 2001. The environment
there is semi-arid, with not a lot of rainfall. Elevation is 8600 feet. Perk rate avg. is
about 17. Jeff is interested in greywater treatment and reuse. He has a well that produces
> The state will issue me a permit for my design for a grey
> water system if I follow their few guidelines. The only
> one I have a problem with is there is a min. 500 gal storage
> tank mandated and a leech field design at700gal/day..
> Looking for your help/opinion on this. I did read your cautions
> on storage... how can I make this work??
> Jeff Couture
In most regs there is provision for the administrative authority to waive and
adjust most requirements.
It is obvious that these regs are just ported over from the septic tank
requirements. There is no technical justification for a 500 gal greywater tank
for a residence. A tank of such size would function as a "greywater to
blackwater conversion tank" and is unheard of in residential systems.
The CA greywater law does not require a surge tank at all. The best
residential system I know of, the Branched Drain system, does not store
even a teaspoon of greywater; it all moves through clean and aerobic.
The leachfield size is two or three times what would be required in
California, and these regs err well on the conservative size.
I suggest you prepare a request for a variance using comments from our
site and based on the CA greywater law; see Greywater policy center.
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- Oasis greywater-book —How to choose, build and use 17 types of greywater systems
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- Builder's GW Guide-book —Permitted greywater systems in new construction and remodeling, info for regulators and policymakers