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State Regulations (US), Compiled in 1999:
Composting Toilets, Graywater Systems, and Constructed Wetlands
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Notes: 1. Although many states do not have formal design standards or regulations concerning composting toilets, graywater systems, and/or constructed wetlands as they pertain to on-site sewage management for residences, many of the rules and regulations do contain a section allowing “experimental” and/or “alternative” systems which may be permitted by individual application to the regulating agency. Individuals interested in these systems should check with their state agency for more information.
2. When the phrase “no existing regulations,” is used it is not meant to imply that those systems may be used without prior approval from the local or state permitting agency. In all cases, check with your local or state permitting agency to see what their permitting requirements are.
Alabama: Alabama Department of Public Health, Division of Community
Environmental Protection, RSA Tower, Suite 1250, PO Box 303017, Montgomery, AL
36130-3017; Ph. (334) 206-5373; Contact: John Paul O’Driscoll.
REGULATION(S): Chapter 420-3-1: Onsite Sewage Disposal and Subdivision-Onsite Sewage Systems, Water Supplies and Solid Waste Management (23 December 1998). Composting Toilets: As of December 23, 1998, no regulations exist for composting toilets. Composting toilets are not expressly forbidden, but the homeowner does have to show adequate sewage disposal for graywater. Alabama is working on a set of new regulations, as the current rules have been overcome by time, and are not adequate for many of the situations that the regulated community faces today. The main shortcoming of the current regulations is that they do not adequately address the large systems and alternative technologies that are present today.1 In the proposed regulations, composting toilets are discussed in Chapter 420-3-1-.59 under Non-Waterborne Systems: Pit Privies, Portable, Composting, and Incinerating Toilets. A composting toilet is defined as a dry closet which combines toilet and urinal waste with optional food waste in an aerobic vented environment. Decomposition of the waste is accomplished by the dehydration and digestion of organic matter, yielding a composted residue which is removed for sanitary disposal.2 Conditions which justify the use of non-waterborne systems include when soil and site conditions are unsuitable for on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS) or when water under pressure is not available. Composting toilets must meet the standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriter’s Laboratory, or Warnock Hershey. Other requirements call for continuous ventilation of the components for the storage or treatment of materials. Disposal of the compost must be in accordance with the guidance of EPA Part 503. Disposal of any liquids from the system must be to a sanitary sewer or to an approved OSTDS.
GRAYWATER: Ch. 420-3-1-.03. Defined, graywater is that portion of sewage generated by a water-using fixture or appliance, excluding the toilet and possibly the garbage disposal.3 References to graywater can be found under 402-3-1-.27 Effluent from Clothes Washing Machine and Residential Spa. Water from these systems can circumvent a septic tank and go into a separate effluent disposal field (EDF). In the current regulations, in the absence of water under pressure, graywater shall be disposed of by an effluent distribution line of 50 linear feet per dwelling. Graywater is also covered under the proposed draft of Ch. 420-3-1-.59. No new recommendations besides the EDF system are proposed.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: A constructed wetland is defined in the proposed rules as a human-made, engineered, marsh-like area which is designed, constructed, and operated to treat wastewater by attempting to optimize physical, chemical, and biological processes of natural ecosystems.4 However, there are no existing regulations.
Alaska: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Domestic
Wastewater Program, 410 West Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105, Juneau, AK 99801; Ph.
(907) 465-5324; Fax (907) 465-5362; http://www.state.ak.us/dec.
REGULATION(S): 18 AAC 72 Wastewater Disposal (1 April 1999).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: No existing regulations.
GRAYWATER: 18 AAC 72.990. Graywater means wastewater a) from a laundry, kitchen, sink, shower, bath, or other domestic sources; and wastewater b) that does not contain excrement, urine, or combined stormwater. No existing regulations.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Arizona: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality,
3033 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012-2809; Toll-free Ph. (800) 234-5677;
Ph. (602) 207-4335; Fax (602) 207-4872; Contact: Nabil Anouti at (602) 207-4723;
REGULATION(S): Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Bulletin No. 12, Minimum Requirements for the Design and Installation of Septic Tank Systems and Alternative On-site Disposal Systems (June 1989); Arizona Administrative Code Title 18, Ch. 9, Article 7: Regulations for the Reuse of Wastewater (30 September 1998); Arizona Guidance Manual for Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement (August 1996).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: No regulations. Bulletin 12 suggests the use of composting toilets where conditions are such as to make it impossible or impractical to construct either a septic tank disposal or an earth-pit privy.5 Provided they can be maintained and operated without endangering the public health or creating a nuisance, composting toilets may be permitted.6
GRAYWATER: Defined under R18-9-701. Graywater means wastewater that originates from clothes washers, dishwashers, bathtubs, showers and sinks, except kitchen sinks and toilets. Under R18-9-703, section C6, graywater from single and multi-family residences may be used for surface irrigation. The design and construction of the system must be approved by the Department. Irrigation sites must be designed to contain a 10-year, 24-hour (i.e., maximum possible) rainfall event and the graywater must fall under the allowable limits of less than 25 colony forming units per 100 milliliters (CFU/ml) fecal coliform and less than 2.0 mg/l chlorine for surface irrigation. Under section 7, formation of a wetlands marsh is allowable reuse of reclaimed wastewater.7
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Bulletin 12 describes onsite alternatives to septic tank and drainfield disposal systems. The first general requirement of Bulletin No. 12 is that alternative onsite disposal systems are intended and will be approved for individual lots only where conventional septic tank systems are not suitable and cannot be approved.8 Use of a septic tank with a minimum of two compartments for preliminary solids removal is necessary prior to a constructed wetland. Constructed subsurface flow wetlands are viewed as a beneficial augmenting step in the septic tank system, providing additional treatment between the septic tank and the soil absorption system.9 The bulletin points out several benefits of segregating blackwater and graywater: 1) conservation of water resources; 2) potential of recycling valuable nutrients to the soil; 3) reuse potential of recycled graywater; and 4) prolonged life of the septic tank soil absorption system.10 However, until further field data becomes available and is evaluated, graywater treatment and disposal systems shall be designed similarly for typical residential wastewater septic tank soil absorption systems. Under this scenario, it may be possible to reduce the septic tank system capacities, sometimes by one-third.11
Arkansas: Arkansas Department of Health, Sanitary
Division, State Health Building, 4815 West Markham, Little Rock, AR 72201; Ph.
REGULATION(S): Alternate Systems Manual published by Environmental Program Services, Division of Environmental Health Protection (April 1993). According to the Alternate Systems Manual, the Arkansas Department of Health encourages studies and submission of plans for alternative methods of treating and disposing of wastes generated by individual residences.12 However, if site and soil conditions indicate that a standard septic tank and soil absorption system is feasible, no alternative or experimental system will be considered.13
COMPOSTING TOILETS: are allowed as long as they are NSF approved. In fact, composting toilets are currently being used in state park systems.14 A composting toilet is defined as a device specifically designed to retain and process body waste, and, in some cases, household garbage, by biological degradation. The process may be thermophilic or mesophilic, depending on the design of the toilet.15 Some manufacturers claim the stabilized compost is safe and may be used as a soil additive in gardens. The actual health risks associated with this composted material have not been adequately assessed. The stabilized compost from a composting toilet must be buried onsite or deposited in an approved sanitary landfill. All composting devices must be evaluated by an ANSI approved laboratory under NSF Standard 41.16 Approved composting toilets for the state of Arkansas include Clivus Multrum models 08, 08-0A, 08-A,202 and 205; and Sun-Mar Biological Composting Toilet and Sun-Mar-XL. Each application requesting approval of a composting toilet must also provide for the disposal of the home’s graywater.17
GRAYWATER: Essentially, graywater is treated the same as blackwater. The preferred method of handling graywater is through a conventional septic tank and absorption field. A 35% reduction in the absorption field size will be granted. Other methods of treating and/or disposing of graywater will be reviewed on a case by case basis.18
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS (ROCK PLANT FILTERS): Rock plant filters (RPFs) provide secondary treatment to septic tank effluent. RPFs act as artificial marshes that rely on microorganisms and the roots of aquatic plants to achieve treatment. RPF systems may be considered on sites where low soil permeability prohibits use of a conventional septic system. Discharge from an RPF must be retained on site, which requires a lot size of at least three acres. This requirement may be waived on repairs to existing, failed septic systems. All off-site discharges must be undergo chlorination prior to discharge.19
California: California Department of Water Resources,
Water Conservation Office, 1020 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; Ph. (916)
327-1655; Contact: Ed Craddock. For Composting Toilets and Constructed Wetlands
Regulations, Contact: California Department of Health Services, 724 P Street,
Room 1350, Sacramento, CA 95814; Ph. (916) 654 0584; Fax (916) 657-2996.
REGULATION(S): Appendix G. Graywater Systems. Uniform Plumbing Code, Title 24, Part 5, California Administrative Code (18 March 1997).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: No existing regulations, check with your local or county agency. GRAYWATER: G-1. General. (b) The type of system shall be determined on the basis of location, soil type, and ground water level and shall be designed to accept all graywater connected to the system from the building. The system shall discharge into subsurface irrigation fields and may include surge tanks and appurtenances, as required by the Administrative Authority. (d) No permit for any graywater system shall be issued until a plot plan with appropriate data satisfactory to the Administrative Authority has been submitted and approved. When there is insufficient lot area or inappropriate soil conditions for adequate absorption of the graywater, as determined by the Administrative Authority, no graywater system shall be permitted. G2. Graywater is untreated wastewater which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, clothes washing machines and laundry tubs or an equivalent discharge as approved by the Administrative Authority. It does not include wastewater from kitchen sinks, photo lab sinks, dishwashers, or laundry water from soiled diapers. Surfacing of graywater means the ponding, running off, or other release of graywater from the land surface. G13 Health and Safety. (a) Graywater may contain fecal matter as a result of bathing and/or washing of diapers and undergarments. Water containing fecal matter, if swallowed, can cause illness in a susceptible person. (b) Graywater shall not include laundry water from soiled diapers. (c) Graywater shall not be applied above the land surface or allowed to surface and shall not be discharged directly into or reach any storm sewer system or any water of the United States. (d) Graywater shall not be contacted by humans, except as required to maintain the graywater treatment and distribution system. (e) Graywater shall not be used for vegetable gardens.20
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Colorado: Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment, Water Quality Control Division, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South,
Denver, CO 80246-1530; Ph. (303) 692-3500.
REGULATION(S): Guidelines on Individual Sewage Disposal Systems, Chapter 25, Article 10 (1994).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Composting toilets, according to the Colorado Department of Health, are defined as unit(s) which consist of a toilet seat and cover over a riser which connects to a compartment or a vault that contains or will receive composting materials sufficient to reduce waste by aerobic decomposition.21 Composting toilets receive deposits of feces, urine, and readily decomposable household garbage that are not diluted with water or other fluids.22 These deposits are retained in a compartment in which aerobic composting will occur. The compartment may be located within a dwelling or building, provided that the unit complies with the applicable requirements of these guidelines and provided the installation will not result in conditions considered to be a health hazard as determined by the local health department. The effective volume of the receptacle must be sufficient to accommodate the number of persons served. When the receptacle is filled to 75% capacity, residue from the unit shall be disposed of by acceptable solid waste practices. Composting toilets must be NSF approved.23
GRAYWATER: Graywater systems collect, treat, and dispose of liquid wastes from sinks, lavatories, tubs, showers, and laundry or other approved plumbing fixtures, excluding toilet fixtures.24 Graywater systems shall meet at least all minimum design and construction standards for septic tank systems based on the amount and character of wastes for the fixtures and the number of persons served.25
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: are systems which utilize various wetland plants to provide secondary treatment of wastewater through biological, physical, and chemical processes.26 Constructed wetland systems must be designed by a registered professional engineer. Designs have to be site-specific and must include estimates of effluent quality at the inlet and outlet. Periodic sampling is required at the owner’s expense.27
Connecticut: Connecticut Department of Public Health,
410 Capitol Avenue, MS #51 SEW, PO Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308; Ph.
(860) 509-7296; http://www.dep.state.ct.us/dph.
REGULATION(S): Connecticut Public Health Code: Regulations and Technical Standards for Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems, Section 19-13-B100 (Conversions, Changes in Use, Additions) (25 October 1976); Section 19-13-B103 (Discharges 5,000 Gallons Per Day or Less) (16 August 1982); and Technical Standards (Pursuant to Section 19-13-B103) (1 January 1997).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: (b)(1) The local director of health may approve the use of a large capacity composting toilet or a heat-assisted composting toilet for replacing an existing privy or a failing subsurface sewage disposal system, or for any single-family residential building where application is made by the owner and occupant, and the lot on which the building will be located is tested by the local director of health and found suitable for a subsurface sewage disposal system meeting all the requirements of Section 19-13-B103d of these regulations. (2) All wastes removed from composting toilets shall be disposed of by burial or other methods approved by the local director of health.28 19-13-B103f XI. Non-Discharging Sewage Disposal Systems A. Large capacity composting toilets shall have separate receiving, composting, and storage compartments, arranged so that the contents are moved from one compartment to another without spillage or escape of odors within the dwelling. No large capacity composting toilets shall have an interior volume of less than 64 cubic feet. All toilet waste shall be deposited in the receiving chamber, which shall be furnished with a tight self-closing toilet lid. Food waste or other materials necessary to the composting action shall be deposited in the composting compartment through a separate opening with a tight fitting lid. The final composting material shall be removed from the storage compartment through a cleanout opening fitted with a tight door or lid. The cleanout shall not be located in a food storage or preparation area. The receiving and composting compartments shall be connected to the outside atmosphere by a screened vent. The vent shall be a minimum of six inches in diameter and shall extend at least 20 feet above the openings in the receiving and composting compartments, unless mechanical ventilation is provided. Air inlets shall be connected to the storage compartment only, and shall be screened. B. Heat assigned composting toilets shall have a single compartment furnished with a tight, self-closing toilet lid. The compartment shall be connected to the outside atmosphere by a screened vent. There shall be a mechanical ventilation fan arranged to control the humidity in the compartment and provide positive venting of odors to the outside atmosphere at all times. A heating unit shall be provided to maintain temperature in the optimum range for composting.29
GRAYWATER: (n) Graywater means domestic sewage containing no fecal material or toilet wastes. Sec. 19-13-B103d. Minimum Requirements. (f) Gray Water Systems. Disposal systems for sinks, tubs, showers, laundries, and other graywater from residential buildings, where no water flush toilet fixtures are connected, shall be constructed with a septic tank and leaching system at least one-half the capacity specified for the required residential sewage disposal system.30 Sec. 19-13-B103f. Non-discharging Sewage Disposal Systems (a) All non-discharging sewage disposal systems shall be designed, installed, and operated in accordance with the Technical Standards and the requirements of this section, unless an exception is granted by the Commissioner upon a determination that system shall provide for the proper and complete disposal and treatment of toilet wastes or graywater.31
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Delaware: Department of Natural Resources and
Environmental Control, Division of Water Resources, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE
19901; Ph. (302) 739-4761.
REGULATION(S): Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems (4 January 1984).
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. However, a substantial portion of Delaware’s population lives where centralized water supply or wastewater treatment services are limited. The Department’s mission is to aid and assist the public in the installation of on-site sewage disposal systems, where possible, by utilizing the best information, techniques, and soil evaluations for the most suitable system that site and soil conditions permit. In the past, inadequately renovated wastewater has contaminated Delaware’s groundwater and presented a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. Corrective measures required the replacement of water supply and wastewater systems at a very high cost which was sometimes borne by the general public. In developing these Regulations, the Department operated under the philosophy that where soil and site conditions permit, the least complex, easy to maintain, and most economical system should be used. The Department’s policy is to encourage development of systems, processes, and techniques which may benefit significant numbers of people in Delaware.32
Florida: Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Water
and On-Site Sewage Programs, 2020 Capital Circle SE, BIN #A08, Tallahassee, FL
32399-1713; Ph. (850) 488-4070; FAX (850) 922-6969; http://www.doh.state.fl.us/; http://www.dep.state.fl.us/ogc/documents/rules/rulelistpa.htm#wastewater;
Contact: David Hammonds; Email: David_Hammonds@doh.state.fl.us
REGULATION(S): 381.0065 Florida Statutes Regulations: Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code, Standards for Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (3 March 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Although they are not widely used, they are allowed, especially in floodprone areas. Florida encourages the use of composting toilets.33 64E-6.009 Alternative Systems. Upon approval by the DOH county health department, alternative systems may, at the applicant’s discretion, be used in circumstances where standard subsurface systems are not suitable or where alternative systems are more feasible. Under this section, composting toilets may be approved for use if found in compliance with NSF Standard 41. Graywater and any other liquid and solid waste must be properly collected and disposed of in accordance with Chapter 64E.34 64E-6.010 Disposal of Sewage. No receptacle associated with an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system shall be cleaned or have its contents removed until the service person has obtained an annual written permit (form DH4013) from the DOH county health department in the county in which the service company is located.35
GRAYWATER: as defined under Title XXIX, Public Health Chapter 381.0065 Onsite Sewage treatment and disposal systems, means that part of domestic sewage that is not blackwater, including the waste from the bath, lavatory, laundry, and sink, except kitchen sink waste.36 Graywater systems are described in Rule 64E-6.013(4).37 When a separate system is installed to dispose of graywater, the retention tank for such systems shall meet certain design standards as specified in Rule 64E-6.008(3): The minimum effective capacity of the graywater retention tank shall be 250 gallons, with such system receiving not more than 75 gallons of flow per day. Where separate graywater and blackwater systems are used, the size of the blackwater system can be reduced by not more than 25%. 10D-6.046 Location and Installation. (7) Onsite graywater tank and drainfield systems may, at the homeowner’s discretion, be utilized in conjunction with an onsite blackwater system where a sewerage system is not available for blackwater disposal.38 10D-6.048 System Size Determination (4) A separate laundry waste tank and drainfield system may be utilized for residences and may be required by the county public health unit where building codes allow for separation of discharge pipes of the residence to separate stubouts and where lot sizes and setback allow system construction. (a) The minimum laundry waste trench drainfield absorption area for slightly limited soil shall be 75 square feet for a one or two bedroom residence with an additional 25 square feet for each additional bedroom. 10D-6.055 (k) All graywater tanks distributed by the state shall be approved for use by the department prior to being installed. Such approval shall be obtained only after the manufacturer of a specific model has submitted engineering designs of the tank. (4) Graywater retention tanks - when a separate system is installed to dispose of graywater, the retention tank for such system shall meet the following minimum design standards: a) the minimum effective capacity shall be as specified in Rule 10D-6.048(3). Liquid depth shall be at least 30 inches; and b) retention tanks shall be baffled and vented as specified in the septic tank construction standards found elsewhere in the section provided that an inlet tee, ell, or baffle shall be provided for graywater tanks.39
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.40
Georgia: Department of Human Resources, Division of
Public Health, Environmental Health Section, 5th Floor-Annex, 2 Peachtree Street
NW, Atlanta, GA 30303-3186; Ph. (404) 657-2700 or 6538; FAX (404) 657-6533; http://www.ganet.org/dnr/environ/rules;
Contact: Warren Abrahams, Program Consultant.
REGULATION(S): Rules of Department of Human Resources, Public Health, Chapter 290-5-26: Onsite Sewage Disposal Management Systems (20 February 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Where the availability of land for installation of conventional septic tank systems is limited so as to allow for only a septic tank and a reduced size absorption system, composting toilets may be considered. Laundry, bath, and kitchen wastes must be disposed of in a conventional septic tank system, although the size of the absorption field may be reduced by 35% from that of a conventional system, provided water conservation devices are utilized. Composted wastes from the treatment unit shall be removed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and the residue shall be buried by covering with at least six inches of soil. Wastes should not be used as fertilizer for root or leaf crops which may be eaten raw. Composting toilets must be certified by the NSF as meeting the current standard or certified by the manufacturer as meeting a nationally recognized standard for such purpose.41
GRAYWATER: Graywater means wastewater generated by water-using fixtures and appliances, excluding water closets, urinals, bidets, kitchen sinks, and garbage disposals. Chapter 290-5-59, Special Onsite Sewage Management Systems, defines sewage as human excreta, all water-carried wastes, and/or liquid household waste including graywater from residences or similar wastes or by-products from commercial and industrial establishments.42 Where a separate graywater system is to be used, the minimum effective capacity of the graywater retention tank shall be 500 gallons. The minimum absorption area for graywater or blackwater absorption systems serving residential properties shall be based on the number of bedrooms and the percolation rate. The blackwater portion of the total daily sewage flow shall be 35%; the graywater portion shall be 65%.43
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Although no regulations are formally in place, an article in the Georgia Environmentalist gives design information and recommendations for both free water surface (FWS) and subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetlands.44
Hawaii: Department Of Health, Wastewater Branch,
Environmental Management Division, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 309, Honolulu,
HI 96814; Ph. (808) 586-4294.
REGULATION(S): Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 11-62 (30 August 1991).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: 11-62-03 Definitions. “Compost toilet” means a non-flush, waterless toilet that employs an aerobic composting process to treat toilet wastes.45 Ch. 11-62-35 states that specific design requirements for composting (and other) toilets shall be reviewed and approved by the director on a case-by-case basis.46 Products, if sold in Hawaii, are to be approved by the director, based on appropriate testing procedures and standards as set forth by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Testing Laboratory.47 The following toilets are approved the NSF Standard 041: Biolet XL; Clivus Multrum Model M-1, M-2, M-12, M-15, M-18, M-22, M-25, M-28, M-32, M-35, M54ADA; Ecotech Carousel; and Sun Mar Excel.
GRAYWATER: means liquid waste from a dwelling or other establishment produced by bathing, washdown, minor laundry, and minor culinary operations, and specifically excluding toilet waste.48 Chapter 11-62-31.1 states that individual wastewater systems may be used as a temporary on-site means of wastewater disposal in lieu of wastewater treatment works in residential developments when there is 10,000 square feet or more of land area for each individual wastewater system.49 Section G covers graywater systems and their respective design characteristics.50 Graywater conveyance systems include: sand filters, absorption trenches and beds, mounds or seepage pits, or when disinfected in accordance with 11-62-26(b) (which governs total coliform levels), used for irrigation.51 11-62-31.1 gives the general requirements for proposed individual wastewater systems. (g) A graywater system shall be designed in accordance with the following criteria: (1) design of graywater systems for dwelling units shall be based on a minimum graywater flow of 150 gallons per day per bedroom; and (2) graywater tanks, when required, shall be sized with no less than a 600 gallon capacity and shall conform to the requirements of section 11-62-33-1(a).52
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Idaho: Division of Environmental Quality, 1410 North
Hilton, Boise, ID 83706-1255; Ph. (208) 373-0502. Contact: Barry Burnell,
Watershed Protection Supervisor.
REGULATION(S): IDAPA 16, Title 01, Chapter 03, Rules for Individual/Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems (7 May 1993) and the Technical Guidance Manual (TGM) for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. The TGM can be viewed at http://www.state.id.us/phd1/tgm/tgm_toc.htm Section 10 of the Idaho code covers Alternative Systems. If a standard system as described in the rules cannot be installed on a parcel of land, an alternative system may be permitted if that system is in accordance with the recommendations of the Technical Guidance Committee and is approved by the Director.53
COMPOSTING TOILETS: are defined as toilets within the dwelling that store and treat non-water carried human urine and feces and small amounts of household garbage by bacterial decomposition. The resultant product is compost.54 Composting toilets are allowed in residences that also have water under pressure, with the understanding that a public sewer or another acceptable method of on-site disposal is available. Permission must be obtained from the Idaho Health Department, as current plumbing code prohibits the use of composting toilets without their permission.55
GRAYWATER: The Technical Guidance Manual contains a draft for graywater system guidelines and design requirements, but current Idaho rules permit graywater systems only as experimental systems.56 The draft proposal describes graywater as untreated household wastewater that has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes washing machines and laundry tubs. It shall not include wastewater from kitchen sinks, dishwashers, or laundry water from soiled diapers. A graywater system consists of a separate plumbing system from the blackwaste and kitchen plumbing, a surge tank to temporarily hold large drain flows, a filter to remove particles that could clog the irrigation system, a pump to move the graywater from the surge tank to the irrigation field, and an irrigation system to distribute the graywater. Graywater may not be used to irrigate vegetable gardens. Graywater systems may only be permitted for individual dwellings. The capacity of the septic tank and size of the blackwaste drainfield and replacement area shall not be reduced by the existence or proposed installation of a graywater system servicing the dwelling. Graywater shall not be applied on the land surface or be allowed to reach the land surface.57
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Constructed wetlands are only permitted under experimental systems. All experimental systems require a variance. Experimental systems also are required to be designed by a Idaho licensed professional engineer.58
Illinois: Illinois Department of Public Health,
Division of Environmental Health, 525-535 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, IL
62761-0001; Ph. (217) 782-5830; Contact: Elaine Beard or Doug Ebelherr.
REGULATION(S): Title 77: Public Health, Chapter I: Department of Public Health, Subchapter r: Water and Sewage, Part 905: Private Sewage Disposal Code, Section 905.30, Approved Private Sewage Disposal Systems (15 March 1996).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: are approved for private sewage disposal of human wastes.59 Compost toilets shall be designed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation to serve the anticipated number of persons. The owner of a compost toilet shall maintain the toilet and dispose of the contents in accordance with Section 905.170, which lists several methods of disposal: 1) discharge to a municipal sanitary sewer system; 2) discharge to sludge lagoons or sludge drying beds; 3) discharge to an incinerator device; or 4) discharge to a sanitary landfill.60 Compost toilets shall comply with the requirement of the NSF Standard 41 and shall bear the NSF Seal.61
GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations (governed under experimental systems).
Indiana: Indiana Department of Environmental
Management, 100 North Senate Avenue, PO Box 6015, Indianapolis, IN 46206-6015;
Ph. (317) 233-7179 or (317) 233-7188; Contact: Alan Dunn or Tim Decker; Email:
REGULATION(S): Regulations, if they existed, would most likely be found under 401 Indiana Administrative Code 6-8.1.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER: No existing regulations.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Constructed wetlands are approved only for experimental use in residential situations. Indiana outlines some basic design criteria for subsurface constructed wetlands, as follows: 1) The wetland is usually designed for five to seven days retention time; 2) Each wetland has one cell for residential projects, with each cell having a length to width ratio of no greater than 2:1; 3) The depth of gravel in the wetland is no greater than 24 inches; 4) There are three different gravel sizes in the wetland. The inlet and outlet ends of the wetland have coarse gravel in the range of 1 1/2 to 3 inches in size. The area between the ends has gravel in the range of 1/2 to 1 inch in size. The surface layer of gravel over the entire wetland is usually six inches in depth with a range of 3/8 to 1/2 inch size (pea gravel). All gravels are screened and washed to remove fines; 5) The water level in the wetland is set at a depth of two to three inches below the surface of the gravel by the outlet adjustable sump pipe. The outlet sump pipe is orificed with a 1 1/2 inch hole to regulate the flow from the wetland after a six inch rainfall event to spread the rainfall accumulation over a 24-hour period; 6) The wetlands are lined with at least a 20 mil liner for residential projects; 7) The wetland is tested for leaks over a 24-hour period with at least six inch depth of water above the inlet and outlet distribution and collection pipe; 8) The inlet distribution and outlet collection pipes for each cell of the wetland are placed at the bottom of the wetland gravel; 9) Some commonly used wetland plants are cattails (Typha sp.) and bulrushes (Scirpus sp.) along with other appropriate species. The shallower rooted plants are located near the inlet because of the higher influent temperatures and high nutrient levels, with deeper rooted plants located toward the end of the wetland; and 10) There is required monitoring at the inlet and outlet ends of the wetland for three to five years. Absorption field criteria: 1) Selection and sizing of the absorption field is always based upon the peak daily wastewater load and the on-site soil survey report that is done by an ARCPAC certified soil scientist, in the area of the absorption field; 2) There is an allowable reduction in the size of the absorption field associated with a subsurface constructed wetland based on the soil loading rate. For soil loading rates equal to or greater than 0.5 gallons per day (GPD) per square foot, but less than or equal to 1.2 GPD per square foot, the allowable reduction in field size is 50%. For soil loading rates of less than 0.5 GPD per square foot but greater than or equal to 0.25 GPD per square foot, the allowable reduction in the field is 33%; 3) There must be a 50 to 100% set aside area for the proposed absorption field associated with the subsurface constructed wetland because this combination is still considered experimental when there is an allowable absorption field size reduction; and 4) The septic tanks are sized for either a 36 or 48 hour detention time.62
Iowa: Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace
State Office Building, 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0034; Ph. (515)
281-7814; Contact: Brent Parker.
REGULATION(S): Chapter 69: On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems 567-69.11(455B).
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER: No existing regulations. Constructed wetlands: are governed under 69.1(2). “On-site wastewater treatment and disposal system" means all equipment and devices necessary for proper conduction, collection, storage, treatment, and disposal of wastewater from four or fewer dwelling units or other facilities serving the equivalent of 15 persons (1,500 gpd) or less. This includes domestic waste, whether residential or nonresidential, but does not include industrial waste of any flow rate. Included within the scope of this definition are building sewers, septic tanks, subsurface absorption systems, mound systems, sand filters, constructed wetlands and individual mechanical/aerobic wastewater treatment systems. 567---69.11(455B) Constructed wetlands. 69.11(1) Constructed wetlands shall only be used where soil percolation rates at the site exceed 120 minutes per inch. Because of the higher maintenance requirements of constructed wetland systems, preference should be given to sand filters, where conditions allow. b). The effluent from a constructed wetland shall receive additional treatment through the use of intermittent sand filters of a magnitude of half that prescribed in rule 69.9(455B). c) Effluent sampling of constructed wetlands shall be performed twice a year or as directed by the administrative authority. Tests shall be run on all parameters as required in 69.9(1). d). Specifications given in these rules for constructed wetlands are minimal and may not be sufficient for all applications. Technical specifications are changing with experience and research. Other design information beyond the scope of these rules may be necessary to properly design a constructed wetland system. 69.11(2) a). The wetland shall be of a subsurface flow construction with a rock depth of 18 inches and a liquid depth of 12 inches. b). Substrate shall be washed river gravel with a diameter of 3/4 inch to 2½ inches. If crushed quarried stone is used, it must meet the criteria listed in 69.6(4)"a." c). Detention time shall be a minimum of seven days. (1) This may be accomplished with trenches 16 to 18 inches deep (12 inches of liquid), three feet wide with 100 feet of length per bedroom. This may also be done with beds 16 to 18 inches deep, with at least 300 square feet of surface area per bedroom. The bottom of each trench or bed must be level within ±½ inch. (2) Multiple trenches or beds in series should be used. Beds or trenches in series may be stepped down in elevation to fit a hillside application. If the system is on one elevation, it should still be divided into units by earthen berms at about 50 and 75% of the total length. (3) Each subunit shall be connected to the next with an overflow pipe (rigid sewer pipe) that maintains the water level in the first section. Protection from freezing may be necessary. d). Wetlands shall be lined with a synthetic PVC or PE plastic liner 20 to 30 mils thick. e). Effluent shall enter the wetland by a four inch pipe sealed into the liner. With beds, a header pipe shall be installed along the inlet side to distribute the waste. f). Wetland system sites shall be bermed to prevent surface water from entering the trenches or beds. 69.11(3) Vegetation shall be established on the wetlands at time of construction. Twelve inches of rock is placed in each unit, the plants are set, then the final four to six inches of rock is placed. b). Only indigenous plant species shall be used, preferably collected within a 100-mile radius of the site. Multiple species in each system are recommended. Preferred species include, but are not limited to: (1) Typha latifolia - Common cattail; (2) Typha angustifolia - Narrow leaf cattail; (3) Scirpus spp. - Bullrush; (4) Phragmites communis - Reed. Transplantation is the recommended method of vegetation establishment. For transplanting, the propagule should be transplanted, at a minimum, on a two-foot grid. The transplants should be fertilized, preferably with a controlled release fertilizer such as Osmocote 18-5-11 for fall and winter planting, 18-6-12 for spring planting, and 19-6-12 for summer planting. Trenches or beds should be filled with fresh water immediately. d). In the late fall, the vegetation shall be mown and the detritus left on the wetland surface as a temperature mulch. In the early spring, the mulch shall be removed and disposed of to allow for adequate bed aeration.63
Kansas: Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of
Water, Nonpoint Source Section, Forbes Field, Building 283, Topeka, KS 66620;
Ph. (785) 296-4195 or 1683.
REGULATION(S): No existing regulations. If regulations existed, they should fall under the Kansas Administrative Regulations (KAR) Chapter 25, Article 5, Sewage and Excreta Disposal.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Bulletin 4-2, Minimum Standards for Design and Construction of Onsite Wastewater Systems (March 1997) mentions alternative systems when conventional absorption fields or ponds are not suitable.64 K.A.R. 28-5-9 gives authority to county health departments, in counties that have local codes, to grant variances for alternative onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems. The variance request is filed with the county administrative agency.65
Kentucky: Department for Public Health, Division of
Public Health Protection and Safety, Environmental Management Branch, Community
Environment Section, 275 East Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40621; Ph. (502)
564-4856; FAX (502) 564-6533; Contact: Craig Sheehan, R.S., Health Inspection
Program Evaluator; Email: Craig.email@example.com
REGULATION(S): 902 Kentucky Administrative Regulations 10:085 Kentucky Onsite
Sewage Disposal Systems (September 1989).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: are mentioned under 1b, 8. System Sizing Standards. When approved permanent non-water carriage water closet type devices (composting toilets, incinerator toilets, oil carriage toilets, etc.) are installed exclusively in any residence and no other blackwater type wastes are created, the daily design flow unit for that specific residence may be reduced.66
GRAYWATER: in Section 2(13) means wastewater generated by water-using fixtures and appliances, excluding the toilet and the garbage disposal.67 Graywater standards are mentioned under 13a-c, 8. When improved performance (of a septic system) may be attained by separating laundry graywater waste flows from other residential waste flow for new system installations, or as repair for existing systems, such separation shall be accomplished in the following manner: a) Graywater sewer for the washing machine shall be separated from the main house sewer; b) laundry graywater shall discharge into a lateral bed or trench(es) of a minimum of 100 square feet of bottom surface soil absorption area for a two bedroom residence and an additional 50 square feet for each additional bedroom; c) new system installations where laundry wasteflow separation exists are permitted a 15% reduction in the primary system lateral field requirements shall be allowed only for sites with soils in Soil Groups I-III. On sites with soils in Soil Group IV, such separation may be required, but no system size reduction will be granted.68
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: or plant-rock filters generally consist of a primary treatment unit, usually a septic tank with two compartments or special filters, with a lined rock bed or cell containing approximately 12 inches of rock and a small overflow lateral field. Aquatic plants are planted in the rock media and treat the effluent to a very high degree. Any excess effluent is disposed of in the lateral field. Wetlands are sized based on 1.3 cubic feet of gravel area for each one gallon of total daily waste flow. A typical size for a three bedroom home would be 468 square feet of interior area. Various length to width ratios are acceptable with generally a relatively narrow width to longer length preferable. The system functions primarily by wastewater entering the treatment unit where some treatment occurs. The partially treated wastewater then enters the lined wetlands cell through solid piping where it is distributed across the cell. The plants within the system act to introduce oxygen into the wastewater through their roots. As the wastewater becomes oxygenated, beneficial microorganisms and fungi can thrive, where they in turn digest organic matter. In addition, fairly large amounts of water may be lost through evapotranspiration. Advantages of installing a constructed wetlands system are that they: 1) are space conservative (approximately 1/3 of conventional rock lateral); 2) can be placed on irregular or segmented lots; and 3) may be placed in areas with shallow water tables, high bedrock or restrictive horizons. Disadvantages include that constructed wetlands systems: 1) require a higher level of maintenance than other conventional systems; 2) may be more costly to install; and 3) have an unknown life span.69
Louisiana: Department of Health and Hospitals, Office
of Public Health, Sanitation Services, 106 Canal Blvd., Thibodaux, LA 70301; Ph.
(504) 449 5007; Contact: Teda Boudreaux.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER SYSTEMS, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.70
Maine: Department of Human Services, Bureau of Health,
Division of Health Engineering, Wastewater and Plumbing Control Program, State
House Station 10, Augusta, ME 04333-0010; Ph. (207) 287-5689.
REGULATION(S): Maine Subsurface Waste Water Disposal Rules 144A CMR 241(20 January 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: are regulated in Ch. 15, Section 1504.0. A composting toilet is designed to receive, store, and compost human wastes. Stabilized (that is, composted) wastes shall be removed for disposal when the toilet’s capacity is reached. The minimum interior volume of a composting toilet shall be large enough to allow complete stabilization of all wastes when the toilet is used continuously at its proposed usage level. Toilet wastes shall be deposited into a receiving area with a self-closing, tightly fitting lid. There shall be a separate access, with a tightly fitting lid, through which food wastes, or other materials needed for the composting process, are routed to the composting compartment. Composted material shall be removed from the storage area through a cleanout opening fitted with a tight door or lid. Non cleanout may be located in a food storage or preparation area. Any liquid overflow shall be discharged to a primitive or conventional disposal field. The contents of an alternative toilet shall be removed and disposed of in a legal and sanitary manner whenever they reach recommended capacity of the alternative toilet.71
GRAYWATER: 1509.0 Separated Laundry Disposal Systems. The plumbing inspector may approve a separate laundry system for single-family dwelling units. A separated laundry field requires an application for subsurface waste water disposal system completed by a licensed site evaluator and a permit to install the system. Only waste water from a washing machine may be discharged to the separate laundry disposal field designed for that purpose. Separate laundry disposal fields may be designed and used for hot tubs or backwash water. A separated laundry disposal field does not require a septic tank.72
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Maryland: Maryland Department of the Environment, Water
Management Administration, 2500 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224; Ph. (410)
REGULATION(S): Regulations may be discussed under Chapter 9, Subtitle 14A. Waterless Toilets (1993).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Waterless toilets are covered in Chapter 9, Subtitle 14A-01. Waterless Toilets The Maryland Department of the Environment does not prohibit the use of any NSF approved composting toilet for use anywhere in the State. The Department’s current regulation is to allow a 36% design flow reduction for residences when utilizing an NSF approved composting/waterless toilet.73
GRAYWATER: Innovative graywater designs are currently allowed on a case-by-case basis under the Innovative and Alternative Program.74
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Massachusetts: Department of Environmental Protection,
Division of Water Pollution Control, One Winter Street, 8th Floor, Boston, MA
02108; Ph. (617) 292-5500; http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/dep/brp/wwm/wwmhome.htm;
Contact: Doug Roth; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For
graywater, contact: Ruth Alfasso, graywater piloting coordinator; Email: Ruth.Alfasso@state.ma.us
REGULATION(S): 310 CMR 15.000, Title 5: Innovative and Alternative Subsurface Sewage Disposal Technologies Approved for Use in Massachusetts (4 March 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: are certified for general use for new construction and for remedial use. Specific regulations concerning composting toilets follow: 1) compost temperature must be maintained above 131 degrees F (55 degrees C); 2) moisture must be maintained between 40-60% for best results; and 3) the system must be designed to store compostable and composted solids for at least two years, either inside the composting chamber or in a separate compost container. Compost must be disposed by one of two methods: 1) by on-site burial, covered with a minimum of six inches of clean compacted earth; or 2) by a licensed septage hauler. If any liquid by-product exists, it should be discharged through a graywater system that includes a septic tank and leaching system or removed by licensed septic hauler.75
GRAYWATER: If the facility generates graywater (i.e, wastewater from sinks, showers, washing machines, etc.) a disposal system is still needed for the graywater. Title 5 has different requirements for remedial use and for new construction. Remedial use is for facilities which have a design flow of less than 10,000 gallons per day, are served by an existing system, and where there is no proposed increase in the design flow. An existing cesspool may be used as a leaching pit, provided that the cesspool is pumped and cleaned and is not located in groundwater, and meets the design criteria of 310 CMR 15.253 with respect to effective depth, separation between units, and inspection access. The cesspool may be replaced by a precast concrete leaching pit meeting those requirements, and the effluent loading requirements of Title 5. A septic tank should also be installed. Pertaining to graywater, a filter system specifically approved by the Department can be used instead of a septic tank.76 Non-traditional graywater systems, such as those which use constructed wetlands or evapotranspiration beds, are approved on a piloting, site-specific basis.77
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations, approved on a piloting basis only.78
Michigan: Department of Environmental Quality,
Environmental Health Section, Drinking Water and Radiological Protection
Division, PO Box 30630, Lansing, MI 48909-8130; Toll-free Ph. (800) 662-9278;
Ph. (517) 335-8284.
REGULATION(S): Michigan has one of the oldest existing guidelines for composting toilets and graywater systems. However, as there is no statewide sanitary code, the 46 local health departments define the criteria for onsite sewage disposal and “each county runs its own show.”79 The Michigan Department of Health publishes Guidelines for Acceptable Innovative or Alternative Waste Treatment Systems and Acceptable Alternative Graywater Systems under authority of Act 421, P.A. 1981 (1986). Under Act 421, an owner of a structure using an acceptable an innovative or alternative waste treatment system (heretoafter referred to as “alternative systems”) in combination with an acceptable alternative graywater system (heretoafter referred to as “graywater systems”) shall not be required to connect to an available public sanitary sewer system.80 Alternative system means a decentralized or individual waste system which has been approved for use by a local health department and which is properly operated and maintained so as to not cause a health hazard or nuisance. An acceptable alternative system may include, but is not limited to, an organic waste treatment system or composting toilet which operates on the principle of decomposition of heterogenous organic materials by aerobic and facultative anaerobic organisms and utilizes an effectively aerobic composting process which produces a stabilized humus. Alternative systems do not include septic tank-drainfield systems or any other systems which are determined by the department to pose a similar threat to the public health, safety and welfare, and the quality of surface and subsurface waters of this state.81 A person may install and use in a structure an alternative system or an alternative system in combination with an graywater system. The installation and use of an alternative system or an alternative system in combination with a graywater system in a structure shall be subject to regulations by the local health department in accordance with the ordinances and regulations of the local units of government in which the structure lies. A local health department may inspect each alternative system within its jurisdiction at least once each year to determine if it being properly operated and maintained. 1) A local health department may charge the owner of an alternative system a reasonable fee for such an inspection and for the plan review and installation inspection. 2) The department shall maintain a record of approved alternative systems and their maintenance and adoption. The department, after consultation with the state plumbing board, shall adopt guidelines to assist local health departments in determining what are graywater systems and what are alternative systems. The department shall advise local health departments regarding the appropriate installation and use of alternative systems and alternative systems in combination with graywater systems. 3) A person who installs and uses an alternative system or an alternative system in combination with a graywater system shall not be exempt from any special assessments levied by a local unit of government for the purpose of financing the construction of an available public sanitary sewer system. 4) An owner of a structure using an alternative in combination with a graywater system shall not be required to connect to an available public sanitary sewer system.82
GRAYWATER: system means a system for the treatment and disposal of wastewater which does not receive human body wastes or industrial waste which has been approved for use by a local health department and which is properly operated and maintained so as not to cause a health hazard or nuisance.83 Structures which utilize alternative systems and graywater systems which are self-contained systems that do not have an on-site discharge should not be required to connect to an available public sanitary sewer system.84 Alternative systems must meet the requirements of Sections 5 (6) and 21 of the Michigan Construction Code, act 230, Public Acts of 1972 as amended. Structures using alternative systems must also meet the requirements of the Michigan Plumbing Code.85 Alternative systems and graywater systems should be tested by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) under Standard 41 testing protocol or by an equivalent independent testing agency and procedure. Lacking this testing procedure, the local health department should require performance data prior to approval. When requested, the Michigan Department of Public Health will assist local health departments in evaluating performance data from the NSF and other sources. Each local health department should require appropriate methods for disposal of stored liquid or solid end products from alternative systems.86 To the extent that funds are available, the department will provide training and technical field assistance to local health departments regarding the appropriate installation and use of alternative systems and graywater systems.87 A person may petition, in writing, the commission to approve the use of a particular material, product, method of manufacture or method or manner of construction or installation. On receipt of the petition, the commission shall cause to be conducted testing and evaluation it deem desirable. After testing and evaluation, and an open public hearing, the commission may reject the petition in whole or in part, may amend the code in such matter as the commission deems appropriate, or may grant a certificate of acceptability.88
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: The Department of Environmental Quality provides a document entitled Review of Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands Literature and Suggested Design and Construction Practices. Constructed wetlands are run through a primary septic tank and then through a subsurface disposal system.89 In fact, this guide recommends that at least two septic tanks should be provided with a total volume of at least two times the design daily flow.90
Minnesota: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Water
Quality Division, Nonpoint Source Compliance Section, 520 Layfayette Road, St.
Paul, MN 55155-4194; Ph. (612) 296-7574; http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/arule/7080
REGULATION(S): Chapter 7080.9010, Alternative and Experimental Systems [Repealed as of 02/28/00!]
COMPOSTING TOILETS: No regulations,91 except in Subpart 3G which mentions that other toilet waste treatment devices may be used where reasonable assurance of performance is provided.92
GRAYWATER: Use of alternative systems is allowed only in areas where a standard system cannot be installed or is not the most suitable treatment. Subpart 3E of Ch. 7080.9010 states that a toilet waste treatment device must be used in conjunction with a graywater system. Accordingly, toilets wastes shall be discharged only to toilet waste treatment devices. Graywater or garbage shall not be discharged to the device, except as specifically recommended by a manufacturer. Septic systems are required for graywater systems. The drainage system in new dwellings or other establishments shall be based on a pipe diameter of two inches to prevent installation of a water flush toilet. There shall be no openings or connections to the drainage system, including floor drains, larger than two inches in diameter. For repair or replacement of an existing system, the existing drainage system may be used. Toilets or urinals of any kind shall not be connected to the drainage system. Toilet waste or garbage shall not be discharged to the drainage system. Garbage grinders shall not be connected to the drainage system. The building sewer shall meet all requirements for part 7080.0120, except that the building sewer for a graywater system shall be no greater than two inches in diameter. Graywater septic tanks shall meet all requirements of 7080.0130, subpart 1, except that the liquid capacity of a graywater septic tank serving a dwelling shall be based on the number of bedrooms existing and anticipated in the dwelling served and shall be at least as large as the following given capacities: 2 bedrooms, 300 gallon capacity; 3 or 4 rooms, 500 gallons; 5 or 6 rooms, 750 gallons; 7, 8 or 9 rooms, 1000 gallons. 4) Sizing for the system can be 60% of the amount calculated for a standard septic system. For ten or more bedrooms or other establishments, the graywater septic tank shall be sized as for any other establishment, except the minimum liquid capacity shall be at least 300 gallons. Graywater aerobic tanks shall meet all requirements of part 7080.0130. 6) Distribution and dosing of graywater shall meet all requirements of parts 7000.0150 and 7080.0160. 7) A standard graywater system shall meet all requirements of part 7080.0170. Experimental systems are discussed in subpart 3a. They may be used in areas where a standard systems cannot be installed or if a system is considered new technology with limited data on reliability.93
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Mississippi: Mississippi State Department of Health, PO
Box 1700, Jackson, MS 39215-1700; Ph. (601) 576-7689; Contact: Ralph Turnbo.
REGULATION(S): Mississippi Individual On-Site Wastewater Disposal System Law, Chapter 41-67 (1996).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: 2.3 (28) Non-Waterborne Disposal System - any non-water carried system that treats and/or disposes of human excreta.94 Non-Waterborne Wastewater Systems are covered under MSDH 300-Section 02A-XIII-01 (revised February 17, 1997). 1. In remote areas of the State or certain transient or temporary locations, the use of non-waterborne systems such as sanitary pit privies, portable toilets, incinerating toilets, composting toilets and related sewage systems may be approved. Due to their limited capacities, these systems are restricted to receive excreta only. Since such systems require regular service and maintenance to prevent their malfunction and overflow, they shall only be used where the local health department approves such use.95
GRAYWATER: No existing regulations.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Constructed wetlands are discussed in Design Standard VII: Plant Rock Filter System, MSDH 300-Section 021-VII. I. A plant rock filter (constructed wetlands) wastewater treatment system may be utilized as an overland/containment system on sites where soil and site conditions prohibit the installation of a conventional or modified subsurface disposal system. In suitable soils, a plant rock filter may utilize underground absorption to dispose of effluent. It may also be utilized to polish effluent from malfunctioning “seeping” absorption field lines on existing systems. II. The plant rock filter may consist of a single cell, two cells in series or multiple cells in series. The design will depend on the topography. Differences in individual design, construction materials and construction methods allow each of these types of plant/rock filter to vary widely in their application. Careful consideration should be made during the soil/site evaluation to ensure that the “best choice” is recommended for the particular site. Recommendations developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority’s General Design, Construction, and Operation Guidelines Constructed Wetlands Wastewater Treatment Systems for Small Users Including Individual Residences, Second Edition, have been adopted by reference.96
Missouri: Missouri Department of Health, Bureau of
Community Environmental Health, PO Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570; Ph.
(573) 751-6095; FAX (573) 526-6946 or 751-0247.
REGULATION(S): Missouri Laws for On-Site Disposal Systems, Chapter 701, Section 701.025 (28 August 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: No existing regulations. May be covered under “Other Systems.” Where unusual conditions exist, special systems of treatment and disposal, other than those specifically mentioned in this rule, may be employed, provided: 1) reasonable assurance of performance of the system is presented to the administrative authority; 2) the engineering design of the system is first approved by the administrative authority; 3) adequate substantiating data indicate that the effluent will not contaminate any drinking water supply, groundwater used for drinking water or any surface water; 4) treatment and disposal of the waste will not deteriorate the public health and general welfare; and 5) discharge of effluent, if any, shall be within setback distances as described in the rules.97
GRAYWATER: Under 701.025,12(b), graywater includes bath, lavatory, laundry, and sink waste, excepting human excreta, toilet waste, residential kitchen waste and other similar waste from household or establishment appurtenances.98 Title 19, Division 20, Chapter 3, General Sanitation, defines graywater as liquid waste, specifically excluding toilet, hazardous, culinary and oily wastes, from a dwelling or other establishment which is produced by bathing, laundry, or discharges from floor drains.99 There are no design recommendations or regulations governing graywater systems.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: provide secondary levels of treatment, which means that some form of pretreatment (septic tank, aeration tank, lagoon, etc.), must be used prior to the wetland, as wetlands cannot withstand large influxes of suspended solids. The pretreatment used must be capable of removing a large portion of these solids. Effluent from wetlands must be contained on the owner’s property with the same set-back distances as required for lagoons. 1. Free water surface wetlands are shallow beds or channels with a depth less than 24 inches and filled with emergent aquatic plants. This type of wetland shall not be allowed. 2. Submerged flow wetlands are similar to free water surface wetlands except that the channels are filled with shallow depths of rock, gravel or sand. The depth of the porous media is usually less than 18 inches. The porous medium supports the root systems of the emergent aquatic vegetation. The water level is to be maintained below the top of the porous medium so that there is no open water surface. The configuration of a wetland for an individual home can be a one cell or two cells in a series, depending on the soil properties of the site.100
Montana: Montana Department of Environmental Quality,
Lee Metcalf Building, 1520 E. Sixth Avenue, PO Box 200901, Helena, MT
59620-0901; Ph. (406) 444-4633; FAX (406) 444-1374; Contact: Mark M. Peterson,
P.E., Environmental Engineering Specialist, Permitting and Compliance Division;
Email: email@example.com. REGULATION(S): Circular WQB 5. Minimum Design
Standards for On-Site Alternative Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (1992).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Under Chapter 70.1, waste segregation systems consist of dry disposal for human waste such as various chemical and incinerator type systems with separate disposal for graywater. However, regardless of the type of dry disposal system used, the graywater must be disposed of by primary (septic tank) and secondary (subsurface drainfield) treatment.101 Waste segregation systems will only be considered for recreational type dwellings which receive seasonal use or commercial buildings.102
GRAYWATER: No existing regulations. Graywater must be disposed of through a septic tank and drainfield system.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Nebraska: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality,
Ground Water Section, PO Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; Ph. (402) 471-2580
or (505) 827-7541; http://www.deq.state.ne.us/RuleAndR.nsf/390ed3941b29c12f8625682c006210e9/80857228ae0f5c2786256800005153a8?OpenDocument;
Contact: Brian Sohall.
REGULATION(S): If they existed, regulations would probably be found in Title 124, Rules and Regulations for Design, Operation and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Graywater is defined, but no systems are necessarily allowed under Title 124.
Nevada: Department of Human Resources, Health Division,
Bureau of Health Protection Services, 1179 Fairview Drive, Suite 101, Carson
City, NV 89701-5405; Ph. (702) 687-6615 (general number); Ph. (702) 687-4750
(direct line); Contact: Joe Pollack.
REGULATION(S): R129-98. Sewage disposal is regulated under Nevada Administrative Code 444.750 (February 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Not approved.
GRAYWATER: systems are governed under Regulation R129-98, Section 78. 1. Graywater may be used for underground irrigation if approved by the administrative authority. A homeowner must obtain a permit to construct, alter or install a system that uses graywater for underground irrigation from the administrative authority before such a system may be constructed, altered or installed. 2. A system that uses graywater for underground irrigation: a) may be used only for a single family dwelling; b) must not be used in soils which have a percolation rate that is greater than 120 minutes per inch; c) must consist of a three-way diversion valve, a holding tank for the graywater and an irrigation system; d) may be equipped with a pump or siphon, or may rely on gravity to cause the water to flow to the irrigation system; e) must not be connected to a system for potable water; and f) must not result in the surfacing of any graywater. 3. A system that uses graywater for underground irrigation, or any part thereof, must not be located on a lot other than the lot which is the site of the single-family dwelling that discharges the graywater to be used in the system. Section 79. 1. An application to construct, alter or install a system that uses graywater for underground irrigation must include: a) detailed plans of the system to be constructed, altered or installed; b) detailed plans of the existing and proposed sewage disposal system; and c) data from percolation tests conducted in accordance with NAC 444.796 and sections 40 to 43, inclusive, of this regulation. 2. A holding tank for graywater must: a) be watertight and constructed of solid, durable materials that are not subject to excessive corrosion or decay; b) have a minimum capacity of 50 gallons; c) have an overflow and an emergency drain. The overflow and emergency drain must not be equipped with a shutoff valve. 3. A three-way diversion valve, emergency drain and overflow must be permanently connected to the building drain or building sewer and must be located upstream from any septic tanks. The required size of an individual sewage disposal system must not be reduced solely because a system that uses graywater for underground irrigation is being used in conjunction with the individual sewage disposal system. 4. The piping for a system that uses graywater for underground irrigation which discharges into the holding tank or is directly connected to the building sewer must be downstream of any vented trap to protect the building from possible sewer gases. 5. The estimated discharge of a system that uses graywater for underground irrigation must be calculated based on the number of bedrooms in the building, as follows: a) for the first bedroom, the estimated discharge of graywater is 80 gallons per day; and b) for each additional bedroom, the estimated discharge of graywater is 40 gallons per day. 6. The absorption area for an irrigation system that includes a system that uses graywater for underground irrigation must be calculated in accordance with the following parameters: percolation rate of 0-20 minutes per inch, 20 square feet (minimum square feet per 100 gallons discharged per day); 21-40 minutes/inch, 40 gallons/day; 41-60 minutes/inch, 60 gallons/day.103
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
New Hampshire: Department of Environmental Services,
Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, 6 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; Ph. (603)
271-3711 or 3503; http://www.state.nh.us/gencourt/ols/rules/env-ws.htm
REGULATION(S): Chapter Env-Ws 1000 Subdivision and Individual Sewage Disposal System Design Rules. Env-Ws 1022 deals with Alternate Systems.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. New Hampshire, does, however, have extensive regulations pertaining to Alternate Systems, as follows. Part Env-Ws 1024 Innovative/Alternative Technology. The purpose of this part is to provide the methodology and review process for the approval of innovative/alternative individual sewage disposal systems, in compliance with RSA 485-A:29, I. b.This part shall apply to any proposed individual sewage disposal system technology not described elsewhere in Env-Ws 1000. a."Conventional system" means an individual sewage disposal system regulated under Env-Ws 1000 other than Env-Ws 1024. b."Innovative/Alternative waste treatment" as defined in RSA 485-A:2, XXI, includes individual sewage disposal systems. c."ITA" means innovative/alternative technology approval. Env-Ws 1024.03 a.If the system will require ongoing professional maintenance, a service contract for such maintenance shall be executed before operational approval is granted. b.In exchange for obtaining the benefit of an operational approval based on innovative/alternative technology, the owner shall covenant to replace the innovative/alternative system with a conventional system should the innovative/alternative system fail to operate lawfully. The covenant shall be recorded by the owner at the registry of deeds where the property is located. Env-Ws 1024.04 ITA Applications. a.Before an innovative/alternative waste treatment system may be used the technology shall be evaluated and approved in an ITA. b.To obtain an ITA, an owner, designer, or other person shall submit a letter of application that includes the following: 1).A written description of the proposed system; 2) All operational reports, patent information, technical reports, and laboratory reports published on the proposed system, even if the information might in whole or in part reflect negatively on the system; 3) A description of any advantages of the proposed system over conventional systems in the prevention of health hazards, surface and groundwater pollution, and any other environmental benefits; 4).A description of the possible risks to public health, surface or groundwaters, or other aspects of the environment of using the proposed system; 5).The names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three individuals who have experience in the design operation of the same type of system; 6).The proposed system's effect on the area of land required for operation; 7).A list of any rules under Env-Ws 1000 for which waivers will be required; and 8).A list of site locations where the system has been used, whether successfully or not.104
New Jersey: Department of Environmental Protection,
Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control, PO Box 029, Trenton, NJ 08625-0029; Ph.
(609) 292-0404 or 4543; http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/rules.htm
REGULATION(S): New .Jersey Administrative Code 7:9A Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems.
COMPOSTING TOILETS: No existing regulations. GRAYWATER: 7:9A-2.1 "Graywater" means that portion of the sanitary sewage generated within a residential, commercial or institutional facility which does not include discharges from water closets or urinals.105 7:9A-1.8 (c) In cases where the actual volume of sanitary sewage discharged from a facility will be reduced by use of water-saving plumbing fixtures, recycling of renovated wastewater, incineration or composting of wastes, evaporation of sewage effluent or any other process, the requirement for obtaining a treatment works approval and a NJPDES permit shall be based upon the design volume of sanitary sewage, calculated as prescribed in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-7.4, rather than the actual discharge volume as modified by water conservation or special treatment processes.7:9A-7.3 (a) The system(s) shall be designed to receive all sanitary sewage from the building served except in the following cases: 1. Separate systems may be designed to receive only graywater, or only blackwater, as allowed in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-7.5. 7:9A-7.5 A graywater system may be approved by the administrative authority provided that all of the requirements of these standards are satisfied and provided that an acceptable means for disposal of the blackwater from the building served is indicated in the system design. When the blackwater from the building served by a graywater system is to be disposed of into a waterless toilet, a variance from the Uniform Construction Code, Plumbing sub-code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.5, must be obtained by the applicant prior to approval of the graywater system by the administrative authority and the volume of sanitary sewage to be used in the design of the graywater system shall be determined as prescribed in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-7.4. When the blackwater from the building served by a graywater system is to be disposed of into a separate subsurface sewage disposal system, the blackwater system shall meet all the requirements of this chapter and the volume of sanitary sewage used in the design of both the graywater system and the blackwater system shall be a minimum of 75 % of the volume of sanitary sewage determined as prescribed in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-7.4.106 7:9A-7.6 Each system approved by the administrative authority pursuant to this chapter shall consist of a septic tank which discharges effluent through a gravity flow, gravity dosing or pressure dosing network to a disposal field as hereafter described. Seepage pits shall not be approved for new installations except in the case of a graywater system as provided by in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-7.5. Installation of a seepage pit may be approved as an alteration for an existing system subject to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.3.107
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.108 7:9A-3.11 Experimental systems The Department encourages the development and use of new technologies which may improve the treatment of sanitary sewage prior to discharge or allow environmentally safe disposal of sanitary sewage in areas where standard sewage disposal systems might not function adequately. Where the design, location, construction or installation of the system or any of its components does not conform to this chapter, the administrative authority shall direct the applicant to apply to the Department for a treatment works approval. Depending upon the volume and quality of the wastewater discharged, a NJPDES permit may also be required.109
New Mexico: State of New Mexico Environment Department,
524 Camino De Los Marquez, Suite 4, Santa Fe, NM 87505; Ph. (505) 827-7545 or
7541 (direct number); FAX (505) 827-7545; Contact: R. Brian Schall, Water
Resource Specialist/Community Services.
REGULATION(S): 20 NMAC 7.3, Liquid Waste Disposal Regulations (10 October 1997).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Composting toilets are allowed, although there is no mention of them in the regulations.110
GRAYWATER: Subpart I, Part 107. AF. "graywater" means water carried waste from kitchen (excluding garbage disposal) and bathroom sinks, wet bar sinks, showers, bathtubs and washing machines. Graywater does not include water carried wastes from kitchen sinks equipped with a garbage disposal, utility sinks, any hazardous materials, or laundry water from the washing of material soiled with human excreta.111 Revised regulations will have a separate section allowing graywater systems. However, the system will still have to run through a septic tank. Graywater can then be used for subsurface irrigation.112
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Constructed wetlands are considered an “alternative system.”113 Subpart II deals with alternative systems. The Department may issue a permit, on an individual basis, for the installation of an alternative on-site liquid waste system, including a system employing new and innovative technology, if the permit applicant demonstrates that the proposed system, by itself or in combination with other on-site liquid waste systems, will neither cause a hazard to public health nor degrade a body of water, and that the proposed system will provide a level of treatment at least as effective as that provided by on-site liquid waste systems, except privies and holding tanks, that meet the requirements of this Part and the New Mexico Design Standards.114
New York: New York State Department of Health, Bureau
of Community Sanitation and Food Protection, 2 University Place, Room 404,
Albany, NY 12203-3399; Ph. (518) 458-6706; Contact: Ben Pierson.
REGULATION(S): Appendix 75-A, Wastewater Treatment Standards - Individual Household Systems, Statutory Authority: Public Health Law 201(1)(1) (1 December 1990).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: 75-A. 10 Other Systems. (b) Non-Waterborne Systems. (1) In certain areas of the State where running water is not available or is too scarce to economically support flush toilets, or where there is a need or desire to conserve water, the installation of non-waterborne sewage systems may be considered, however, the treatment of wastewater from sinks, showers, and other facilities must be provided when non-flush toilets are installed. The Individual Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems Design Handbook gives more detail regarding composting toilets.115 The State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code [9NYCRR Subtitle S Sections 900.1(a) and (b)] requires wet plumbing (i.e., potable water plus sewerage) for all new residences. In accordance with Section 900.2(b), minimal required plumbing fixtures may be omitted for owner occupied single family dwellings if approved by the authority having jurisdiction. Health Department approval for said omission(s) shall be fully protective of public health and be in general harmony with the intent of Section 900.1 (i.e., provide satisfactory sanitary facilities). In some areas of the state where available water becomes insufficient to economically use flush toilets (i.e., even those with only 1.6 gallons per flush) or where a need or desire exists to conserve water, use of non-waterborne systems may be justified.116 Composters: These units accept human waste into a chamber where composting of the waste occurs.117 Composters accept only toilet wastes and kitchen food scraps coupled with supplemental additions of carbon-rich bulking agents such as planar shavings or coarse sawdust. Household cleaning products should not be placed in the unit. Failure to add adequate bulking agents or maintain aerobic moisture can result in the pile becoming hard (and difficult to remove) or anaerobic. The composted humus contains numerous bacteria and may also contain viruses and cysts. Residual wastes (i.e., the composted humus) should be periodically removed by a professional septage hauler. If a homeowner chooses to personally remove the composted humus, it should be disposed of at a sanitary landfill or buried and well mixed into soil distant from food crops, water supply sources and watercourses. The humus comprises an admixture of recent additions and composted older additions and should be disposed of accordingly. Humus disposal sites shall meet Table 2 separation distances for sanitary privy pits.118 These units shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. The units shall have a label indicating compliance with the requirements of NSF Standard 41 or equivalent. Only units with a warranty of five years or more shall be installed.119
GRAYWATER: systems shall be designed upon a flow of 75 gpd/bedroom and meet all the criteria previously discussed for treatment of household wastewater.120 The treatment of household wastewater is regulated by 75-A.8. Subsurface Treatment. (a) General Information. All effluent from septic tanks or aerobic tanks shall be discharged to a subsurface treatment system. Surface discharge of septic tank or aerobic effluent shall not be approved by the Department of Health or a local health department acting as its agent.121
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: There is no official state policy regarding constructed wetlands. It is doubtful that the state or county health departments would approve them.122
North Carolina: Department of Environmental Health and
Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Health, On-Site Wastewater Section,
PO Box 27687, Raleigh, NC 27611-7687; Ph. (919) 733-2895 or 7015.
REGULATION(S): Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, Section .1900 (April 1993).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Section.1934. The rules contained in this Section shall govern the treatment and disposal of domestic type sewage from septic tank systems, privies, incinerating toilets, mechanical toilets, composting toilets, recycling toilets, or other such systems serving single or multiple family residences, places of business, or places of public assembly, the effluent from which is designed not to discharge to the land surface or surface waters. Section.1958 (a) Where an approved privy, an approved septic tank system, or a connection to an approved public or community sewage system is impossible or impractical, this Section shall not prohibit the state or local health department from permitting approved non-ground absorption treatment systems utilizing heat or other approved means for reducing the toilet contents to inert or stabilized residue or to an otherwise harmless condition, rendering such contents noninfectious or noncontaminating. Alternative systems shall be designed to comply with the purposes and intent of this Section. (c) Incinerating, composting, vault privies, and mechanical toilets shall be approved by the state agency or local health department only when all of the sewage will receive adequate treatment and disposal.123
GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.124
North Dakota: North Dakota Department of Health,
Environmental Health Section, Division of Municipal Facilities, 1200 Missouri
Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58504-5264; Ph. (701) 328-5211 or 5150; FAX (701) 328-5200;
Contact: Jeff Hauge, P.E, Environmental Engineer.
REGULATION(S): Chapter 62-03-16. Individual Sewage Treatment Systems for Homes and Other Establishments Where Public Sewage Systems are not Available (1996).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: 62-03-16-01. Where water under pressure is not available, all human body wastes shall be disposed of by depositing them in approved privies, chemical toilets or such other installations acceptable to the administrative authority.125
GRAYWATER: 62-03-16-01. 6. Water-carried sewage from bathrooms, kitchens, laundry fixtures, and other household plumbing shall pass through a septic or other approved sedimentation tank prior to its discharge into the soil or into an alternative system. Where underground disposal for treatment is not feasible, consideration will be given to special methods of collection and disposal.126
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Ohio: Bureau of Local Services, Ohio Department of
Health, 246 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43266-0588; Ph. (614) 466-5190 or
1390; Contact: Tom Grigsby, Program Specialist; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGULATION(S): O.A.C. Chapter 3701-29 Household Sewage Disposal Rules (1977).
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Chapter 3701-29-20. Variance. (C). Household sewage disposal system components or household sewage disposal systems differing in design or principle of operation from those set forth in rules 3701-29-01 to 3701-29-21, may qualify for approval as a special device or system provided, comprehensive tests and investigations show any such component or system produces results equivalent to those obtained by sewage disposal components or systems complying with such regulations. Such approval shall be obtained in writing from the director of health.127
Oklahoma : Department of Environmental Quality, 1000
Northeast 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73177-1212; Ph. (405) 271-7363 or
702-8100 (Division of Water Quality); Contact: Donnie Johnson.
REGULATION(S): Chapter 640. Individual and Small Public Sewage Disposal (1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Chapter 640-1-12 governs alternative/experimental disposal systems. Where unusual conditions exist, special systems of treatment and disposal, other than individual sewage disposal systems mentioned may be employed, provided that: 1) reasonable assurance is presented to the Department that the system will work properly; 2) the design of the system is approved by the Department prior to installation; 3) there is no discharge to the waters of the state; 4) treatment and disposal of waste are in such a manner as to protect public health and the environment; 5) such systems comply with all local codes and ordinances. (b) Special alternative systems or experimental systems shall be considered on a case-by-case basis, weighing heavily in the approval process. The plans for alternative systems shall be reviewed by the Department and approved or disapproved by the Area or Regional Supervisor. After construction, the installation of the alternative system shall be approved or disapproved by the local DEQ representative. (c) To apply for approval of such systems an applicant shall file two copies of test results based on OAC 252:640-1-9 and two copies of the design plan for the proposed system with the local representative of the Department for the area in which the property is located.128
Oregon: Department of Environmental Quality, Water
Quality Division, 811 Southwest 6th Avenue, Portland, OR 97204-1390; Ph. (503)
(click on statute/rules and go to oar 918-770 (division 770); http://landru.leg.state.or.us/ors/447.htm;
Contact: Sherman Olson, Terry Swisher: Ph (503) 373-7488.
REGULATION(S): Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 918, Division 790, Composting Toilet Rules (1998); Oregon Revised Statutes 447.115 (1997); OAR Chapter 340, Divison 71 (1997).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: As used in ORS 447.118 and 447.124, "compost toilet" means a permanent, sealed, water-impervious toilet receptacle screened from insects, used to receive and store only human wastes, urine and feces, toilet paper and biodegradable garbage, and ventilated to utilize aerobic composting for waste treatment. 447.118 (1) Nothing in ORS 447.010 to 447.160 shall prohibit the installation of a compost toilet for a dwelling by the occupant of the dwelling if the compost toilet complies with the minimum requirements established under this section. (2) Rules adopted under ORS 447.020 shall provide minimum requirements for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of compost toilets. (3) The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services with the approval of the State Plumbing Board may require by rule that, in addition to any other requirements provided by law, any manufacturer or distributor of a compost toilet and any person other than the owner of the dwelling in which the compost toilet is to be installed who proposes to install a compost toilet file with the Department of Consumer and Business Services a satisfactory bond, irrevocable letter of credit issued by an insured institution as defined in ORS 706.008 or other security in an amount to be fixed by the department with approval of the board but not to exceed $5,000, conditioned that such bond, letter of credit or security shall be forfeited in whole or in part to the department for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of ORS 447.124 by failure of such manufacturer, distributor or person to comply with the rules adopted under this section. 447.124 The Department of Consumer and Business Services, with the assistance of the Health Division: (1) May conduct periodic inspections of any compost toilet; (2) Upon making a finding that a compost toilet is in violation of the rules adopted pursuant to ORS 447.118 (2), may issue an order requiring the owner of the dwelling served by the compost toilet to take action necessary to correct the violation; and (3) Upon making a finding that a compost toilet presents or threatens to present a public health hazard creating an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health, safety or welfare, may issue an order requiring the owner of the dwelling served by the compost toilet to take any action necessary to remove such hazard or threat thereof. If such owner fails to take the actions required by such order, the department shall take such action, itself or by contract with outside parties, as necessary to remove the hazard or threat thereof.129 More specific information regarding composting toilets is given under Chapter 918-718-0010. Composting toilets: 1) must be ventilated (electrical or mechanical); 2) shall have at least one cubic yard capacity for a one or two bedroom dwelling; 3) shall be limited to installation in areas where a graywater disposal system can be installed and used; 4) shall be installed in an insulated area to keep a biological balance of the materials therein; and 5) humus from composting toilets may be used around ornamental shrubs, flowers, trees, or fruit trees and shall be buried under at least 12 inches of soil cover. Deposit of humus from any compost toilet around any edible vegetation or vegetable shall be prohibited.130 Composting toilets must be approved by the NSF Standard 41.131
GRAYWATER: 447.140 (1) All waste water and sewage from plumbing fixtures shall be discharged into a sewer system or alternate sewage disposal system approved by the Environmental Quality Commission or department of Environmental Quality under ORS chapters 468, 468A and 468B. Graywater is technically defined as sewage and still requires a septic tank and drainfield, although the septic system can be reduced in size.132 Chapter 340, Divisions 71 and 73: Under the “split-waste method,” blackwater sewage and graywater sewage from the same dwelling or building are disposed of by separate systems.133 340-71-320. Split Waste Method. In a split waste method, wastes may be disposed of as follows: (1) Black wastes may be disposed of by the use of State Building Codes Division approved non-water carried plumbing units such as recirculating oil flush toilets or compost toilets. (2) Graywater may be disposed of by discharge to: a) an existing on-site system which is not failing; or b) a new on-site system with a soil absorption facility 2/3 normal size. A full size initial disposal area and replacement disposal area of equal size are required; or c) a public sewerage system.134
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Performance based permits are issued for constructed wetlands. Several systems have been installed in Oregon, but not for single family homes.135
Pennsylvania: Department of Environmental Protection,
Bureau of Water Quality Protection, Division of Wastewater Management, Rachel
Carson State Office Building, 11th Floor, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA
17101-2301; Ph. (717) 787-8184.
REGULATION(S): Title 25. Environmental Protection, Chapter 73. Standards for Sewage Disposal Facilities, Current through 28 Pa.B. 348 (17 January 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: under Chapter 73.1 are defined as devices for holding and processing human and organic kitchen waste employing the process of biological degradation through the action of microorganisms to produce a stable, humus-like material.136 Composting toilets are permitted under Ch. 73.65. Toilets must bear the seal of the NSF indicating testing and approval by that agency under Standard No. 41. (b) The device utilized shall meet the installation specifications of the manufacturer and shall be operated and maintained in a manner that will preclude any potential pollution or health hazards. (c) When the installations of a recycling toilet, incinerating toilet or composting toilets is proposed for a new residence or establishment, an onlot sewage system or other approved method of sewage disposal shall be provided for treatment of washwater or excess liquid from the unit. For existing residences, where no alteration of the on lot system is proposed, a permit is not required to install a composting toilet.137
GRAYWATER: 73.11. (c) Liquid wastes, including kitchen and laundry wastes and water softener backwash, shall be discharged to a treatment tank.138
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Ch. 73.71 governs Experimental Sewage Systems, which may be implemented upon submittal of a preliminary design plan. Experimental systems may be considered for individual or community systems in any of the following cases: 1) To solve existing pollution or public health problem; 2) To overcome specific site suitability deficiencies, or as a substitute for systems described in this chapter on suitable lots; 3) To overcome specific engineering problems related to the site or proposed uses; and 4) To evaluate new concepts or technologies applicable to onlot disposal.139
Rhode Island: Department of Environmental Management,
Division of Groundwater and Individual Sewage Disposal Systems, ISDS Section,
291 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908-5767; Ph. (401) 277-4700; http://www.state.ri.us/dem/regs/water/isds9-98.pdf
REGULATION(S): Chapter 12-120-002, Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (September 1998).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Regulation 12-120-002, amended September 1998, governs composting toilet guidelines. SD 14.00 discusses the acceptability of composting, or humus, toilets, stating that a humus or incinerator type toilet may be approved for any use where a septic tank and leaching system can be installed. The regulation governs two types of composting toilets: 1) large capacity composting toilets; and 2) heat assisted composting toilets. Large capacity toilets must have an interior volume greater than or equal to 64 cubic feet. All waste removed from large capacity composting toilets shall be disposed of by burial or other means approved by the director. Separate subsurface sewage disposal facilities must be provided for disposal of any liquid wastes from sinks, tubs, showers and laundry facilities (SD 14.05).140
GRAYWATER: The term, "graywater," shall be held to mean any wastewater discharge from a structure excluding the waste discharges from water closets and waste discharges containing human or animal excrement. The term, "sanitary sewage," shall be held to mean any human or animal excremental liquid or substance, any putrescible animal or vegetable matter and/or any garbage and filth, including, but not limited to, any graywater or blackwater discharged from toilets, laundry tubs, washing machines, sinks, and dishwashers as well as the content of septic tanks, cesspools, or privies.141
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Section SD14.06 governs Innovative or Alternative Technology Approval Procedures (this is an extensive section on the procedures, that are required to install an alternative system).142
South Carolina: Onsite Wastewater Management Branch,
Division of Environmental Health, Department of Health and Environmental
Control, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201; Ph. (803) 935-7945; FAX (803)
935-7825; Contact: Richard Hatfield; Email: HATFIERL@columb72.dhec.state.sc.us
REGULATION(S): Chapter 61-56, Individual Waste Disposal Systems (27 June 1986).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Composting toilets may be used in conjunction with an approved septic system, for facilities that are provided with water under pressure. If site and soil conditions are not acceptable for an approved septic system, an alternative toilet may be considered, but only if the facility is not connected to water under pressure.
GRAYWATER: No existing regulations. Graywater is included within the Department’s definition of sewage and must be managed appropriately. A permit applicant could elect to install separate systems to handle blackwater and graywater, but the same site and soil requirements apply for both systems.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Constructed wetlands (rock/plant filter) may be installed by an owner, but only in conjunction with an approved pre-treatment system, such as a septic tank, and an approved disposal system, such as a drain field. A limited number of homeowners have elected to use constructed wetlands systems in an effort to mitigate failing conventional systems.143 Regulation 61-56, Individual Waste Disposal Systems, grants authority to the Department of Health and Environmental Control to adopt standards for alternative onsite treatment and disposal systems. However, no technical standards have been developed for graywater systems, constructed wetlands or composting toilets.
South Dakota: Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, Air and Surface Water Program, Joe Foss Building, 523 East Capitol,
Pierre, SD 57501; Ph. (605) 773-3151; http://www.state.sd.us/state/legis/lrc/rules/7453.htm
REGULATION(S): Chapter 74:53:01:10 (1 July 1996).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Unconventional systems are only to be used when water or electrical systems are unavailable. Vault privies, chemical toilets, incinerator toilets, or composting units shall be used when a water or electrical system is not available. With the exception of vault privies, all unconventional systems are considered experimental systems, and plans and specifications shall be submitted to the secretary for approval as an experimental system prior to installation.144
GRAYWATER: Under Chapter 74:03: 01:38, graywater systems are wastewater systems designed to recycle or treat wastes from sinks, lavatories, tubs, showers, washers, or other devices which do not discharge garbage or urinary or fecal wastes. In areas where they will not create a public nuisance or enter any water of the state, graywater systems are exempt from the requirement that normally states that wastewater is not allowed to surface on, around, or enter state waters. 74-03:01:75. A graywater system shall be designed in accordance with the following criteria: 1) All graywater treatment and recycle systems shall be located in accordance of the distances specified in 74:03.01:56, Table 1; 2) Design of graywater systems shall be based on a minimum graywater flow of 25 gallons per day per person. Three days retention time shall be provided for each graywater tank; 3) Graywater tanks are septic tanks and shall conform to the requirements for septic tanks; and 4) Effluent from graywater systems may be recycled for toilet use, conveyed to absorption fields, mounds or seepage pits, or used for irrigation of lawns and areas not intended for food production. Percolation tests shall be conducted and the minimum size of absorption area shall be determined in accordance with 74:03:01:66 to 74:03:01:69, inclusive.145
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Tennessee: Tennessee Department of Environment and
Conservation, Division of Ground Water Protection, L & C Tower, 10th Floor,
401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243-1540; Ph. (615) 532-0774; Contact:
Stephen Morse, Environmental Manager. Regulation(s): Rules of Department of
Environment and Conservation, Division of Ground Water Protection, Chapter
1200-1-6: Regulations to Govern Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems (1997).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: (2) Composting toilets must be certified by the NSF to be in compliance with NSF Standard 41, and be published in their Listing of Certified Wastewater Recycle/Reuse and Water Conservation Devices before they may be used for disposal of human excreta by non-water carriage methods. (c) A pit privy or composting toilet shall not be permitted for a facility where the facility has running water available unless there is an acceptable means to dispose of wastewater.146
GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. However, the Tennessee Valley Authority does publish a set of guidelines for the design and construction of constructed wetlands: Tennessee Valley Authority’s General Design, Construction, and Operation Guidelines — Constructed Wetlands Wastewater Treatment Systems for Small Users Including Individual Residences, Second Edition, by Steiner, et al., 1993.
Texas: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission,
PO Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087; Ph. (512) 239-4775; http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/
REGULATION(S): Chapter 285: On-Site Sewage Facilities (1999).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: 285.2 (13) Composting toilet - A self-contained treatment and disposal facility constructed to decompose non-waterborne human wastes through bacterial action facilitated by aeration. 285.34 Other Requirements (e) Composting toilets will be approved by the executive director provided the system has been tested and certified under NSF Standard 41 147 285.2 (27)
GRAYWATER: wastewater from clothes washing machines, showers, bathtubs, handwashing lavatories, and sinks not used for the disposal of hazardous or toxic ingredients or waste from food preparations. Subchapter H: 285.80. Treatment and Disposal of Graywater. New construction or modification to an existing graywater conveyance, treatment, storage or disposal system outside of a structure or building must be carried out in accordance with provisions of this chapter and any established requirements of the permitting authority. Any new construction or modification to an existing graywater reuse or reuse conveyance system associated with a structure or building must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the State Board of Plumbing Examiners.148 Graywater must be treated through a septic system first.149
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: Permitted under 285.32C. Non-standard systems include, but are not limited to, all forms of the activated sludge process, rotating biological contactors, recirculating sand filters, and submerged rock biological filters (a fancy name for constructed wetlands). Non standard systems submitted for review will be analyzed on basic engineering principles and the criteria established in Chapter 285. These systems will be reviewed as one of a kind, site-specific installations. Whether blackwater or graywater, all domestic water-carried discharges have to go through a septic tank first before going through a wetland system. After passing through the wetland system, it must still go through a drainfield.150
Utah: Department of Environmental Quality, Division of
Water Quality, 288 North 1460 West, PO Box 144870, Salt Lake City, UT
84114-4870; Ph. (801) 538-6146; http://www.eq.state.ut.us/eqwq/wqrules.htm
REGULATION(S): If they existed, they may be covered under R317-502-3, Individual Wastewater Disposal Systems (1993).
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. R317-502-3. does speak to alternative systems. The drainage system of each dwelling, building or premises covered herein shall receive all wastewater (including but not limited to bathroom, kitchen, and laundry wastes) as required by the Uniform Plumbing Code and shall have a connection to a public sewer except when such sewer is not available or practicable for use, in which case connection shall be made as follows: 3.1 To an individual wastewater disposal system found to be adequate and constructed in accordance with requirements stated herein. 3.2 To any other type of wastewater disposal system acceptable under R317-1, R317-3, R317-5, or R317-560. R317-502-20. Experimental and Alternate Disposal Methods. 20.1 Where unusual conditions exist, experimental methods of wastewater disposal may be employed provided they are acceptable to the Division and to the local health department having jurisdiction. 20.2 When considering proposals for experimental individual wastewater disposal systems, the Division shall not be restricted by this rule provided that: A. The experimental system proposed is attempting to resolve an existing pollution or public health hazard, or when the experimental system proposal is for new construction, it has been predetermined that an acceptable back-up disposal system will be installed in event of failure of the experiment; B. The proposal for an experimental individual wastewater disposal system must be in the name of and bear the signature of the person who will own the system; and C. The person proposing to utilize an experimental system has the responsibility to maintain, correct, or replace the system in event of failure of the experiment. 20.3 When sufficient, successful experience is established with experimental individual wastewater disposal systems, the Division may designate them as approved alternate individual wastewater disposal systems. Following this approval of alternate individual wastewater disposal systems, the Division will adopt rules governing their use.151
Vermont: Agency of Natural Resources, Department of
Environmental Conservation, Wastewater Management Division,103 South Main
Street, The Sewing Building, Waterbury, VT 05671-0401; Ph. (802) 241-3834;
Contact: Bonnie J. Loomer-Hostelter; Email: email@example.com
REGULATION(S): If they existed, they would most likely be found under Environmental Protection Rules, Chapter 1, Small Scale Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Rules (8 August 1996).
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations. Innovative systems are regulated under Chapter 1, Small Scale Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Rules. Innovative Systems are governed under subchapter 2, 1-203. Alternative systems are allowed in Vermont only if a back-up, in ground conventional (septic) system is installed.152 Constructed wetlands as treatment units could be approved if the design was sufficiently reliable given the extended winter season in Vermont. However, for all practical purposes, the discharge from a constructed wetland unit could not be discharged directly into surface waters under these regulations but would have to be discharged to a subsurface leachfield or possibly a sprayfield system.153
Virginia: State of Virginia, Office of Environmental
Health Services, Main Street Station, Suite 117, PO Box 2448, Richmond, VA
23218-2448; Ph. (804) 225-4030; http://www.vdh.state.va.us/onsite/regulations/sew-vac4.htm;
Contact: Donald Alexander; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGULATION(S): 12 VAC 5-610-980.
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Article 6. 12 VAC 5-610-970. 3. Composting toilets are devices which incorporate an incline plane, baffles, or other suitable devices onto which human excreta is deposited for the purpose of allowing aerobic decomposition of the excreta. The decomposing material is allowed to accumulate to form a humus type material. These units serve as both toilet and disposal devices. Composting toilets are located interior to a dwelling. All materials removed from a composting privy shall be buried. Compost material shall not be placed in vegetable gardens or on the ground surface. All composting toilets must be certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as meeting the current Standard 41.
GRAYWATER: No existing regulations.
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: 12VAC5-640-370. Constructed wetlands are considered experimental and will be considered on a case by case basis by the department. All constructed wetland systems shall be designed to meet or exceed 10 mg/l BOD5 and 10 mg/l suspended solids. Experimental systems are exactly that: experimental. Only the results of testing will determine if they will become an approved method of treating wastewater. Some systems can solve site and soil problems that a conventional septic system cannot handle; however, no system can overcome all of the problems on some difficult sites. The Division is looking to find safe, sanitary and economical solutions for every site but some problems still lack a viable solution. In short, not every site "percs" and many, if not all, alternative technologies are more expensive than a conventional gravel system. The Department urges prospective buyers to get an approval letter or construction permit before buying property you wish to build on.154
Washington: Department of Health, Community
Environmental Health Programs LD-11, Building 2, Airdustrial Center, PO Box
47826, Olympia, WA 47826; Ph. (360) 236-4501 or 3011 (Environmental Health
Programs direct line); http://access.wa.gov/government/awlaws.asp;
Contact: Jen Haywood.
REGULATION(S): WAC 246-272; Technical Review Committee, Guidelines for Composting Toilets (1994); Recommended Standards and Guidance for Water Conserving On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems (1999).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: I. The Technical Review Committee for On-Site Sewage Disposal, established under WAC 246-272-040, has reviewed the available literature on composting toilets. The committee has determined that composting toilets could be an approved method of sewage treatment if use is consistent with the guidelines herein. Composting toilets are not designed to handle the total wastewater volume generated in the home. The units are usually designed to accommodate fecal and urinary wastes together with small amounts of organic kitchen wastes. The remaining wastewater originating from bathing facilities, sinks and washing machines (graywater) must therefore be collected, treated and disposed of in an approved manner. Because there generally will be additional wastewater to dispose of, composting toilets are restricted. II. Composting toilets are any device designed to store and compost by aerobic bacterial digestion human urine and feces which are non-water carried, together with the necessary venting, piping, electrical and/or mechanical components.155 Section A. Waterless Toilets/WLTs. Composting - Unit designed to store and compost (by microbial digestion) human urine and feces. These units are commonly designed to accommodate fecal and urinary wastes together with small amounts of organic material to assist their function. No water is used for transport of urine or feces within these units. They may be small enough to sit on the floor of a bathroom or large enough to require space below the floor to house the storage/composting chamber.156 The units may be used to replace private privies or chemical toilets, including such applications as highway weigh stations, warehouses, port facilities, construction sites, residences, etc., may be used in dwellings where water supply is not available or provided (example: mountain cabins), or may be used in dwellings where an on-site sewage system is or can be provided for disposal of graywater. Where non-discharging blackwater treatment systems are used, a 50% reduction in septic tank volume and a 40% reduction in the daily hydraulic loading to be used in sizing the grey water disposal mechanism (drainfield, mound system, etc.) are recommended from standard design requirements. The units may be used in facilities where a public sewage system is provided for disposal of graywater.157 The devices shall be capable of accommodating full or part-time usage without accumulating excess liquids when operated at the design rated capacity. Continuous forced ventilations (e.g., electric fan or wind-driven turbovent) of the storage or treatment chamber must be provided to the outside.158 Components in which biological activity is intended to occur shall be insulated, heated, or otherwise protected from low temperature conditions, in order to maintain the stored wastes at temperatures conducive to aerobic biological decomposition: 20 to 50 degrees C (68 to 130 degrees F). The device shall be capable of maintaining wastes within a moisture range of 40 to 75%. The device shall be designed to prevent the deposition of inadequately treated wastes near parts used for the removal of stabilized end products. The solid end product (i.e., waste humus) shall be stabilized to meet NSF criteria when ready for removal at the clean out port.1. Performance Standards. 188.8.131.52. Toilets of proprietary design must be tested according to the NSF International Standard No. 41 (May 1983).159 The maintenance of carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of approximately 20:1 are recommended. Consequently, additions of vegetable matter, wood chips, sawdust, etc., can be helpful. Removal of composted and liquid materials shall be done in a manner approved with the local health departments and as a minimum, shall comply with Guidelines for Sludge Disposal, Washington Department of Health, 1954. Persons finding it necessary to handle this material shall take adequate protective sanitation measures, and should wash their hands carefully with soap and hot water. Compost shall not be used directly on root crops or on low-growing vegetables, fruits or berries which are used for human consumption; however, this general restriction does not apply if stabilized compost is applied 12 months prior to planting. Where it can be shown that sludge will not come in direct contact with the food products, such as in orchards or where stabilized sludges are further treated for sterilization or pathogen reduction, less restrictive periods may be applicable. Performance monitoring shall be performed on composting toilets permitted under this guideline. Permits should include a statement indicating the permitter’s right of entry and/or right to inspect. The frequency of monitoring shall be: 1) Two years after installation; 2) Four years after installation; and 3) in response to a complaint or problem. Non-water carried sewage treatment units are presently acknowledged to be a method of sewage disposal under the Uniform Plumbing Code, but variances to use the devices might be required by local administrative authorities. Variances must therefore be obtained from these departments together with approval of the local health department before the installation can be allowed. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 70.118 gives local boards of health the authority to waive applicable sections of local building/plumbing codes when they might prohibit the use of an alternative method for correcting a failure.160
GRAYWATER: Section B. Graywater systems are virtually the same as combined-wastewater on-site sewage systems. Gravity flow graywater systems consist of a septic tank and subsurface drainfield. Pressurized graywater systems consist of a septic tank, a pump chamber or vault, and a subsurface drainfield. Other types of alternative systems, pre-treatment methods and drainfield design and materials options may also be incorporated in graywater systems. The primary distinction between a graywater system and a combined wastewater system is the lower volume of wastewater. As a result, the size of the septic tank and subsurface drainfield is smaller compared to a system that treats and disposes all the household wastewater (combined) through a septic tank and drainfield. In addition to the water conserving nature of waterless toilets/graywater systems, the graywater system drainfield can be designed and located to reuse graywater for subsurface irrigation. Drainfield designs (methods and materials) which place the distributed wastewater in close proximity to the root zone of turf grasses, plants, shrubs, and trees may be used to enhance the reuse potential of graywater as it is treated in the soil, assuring public health protection. When graywater systems are designed, installed, operated and maintained to maximize their potential as a graywater reuse irrigation system, various items should be considered. Among these are plant water and nutrient needs and limits, salt tolerances, depths of root zones, etc. The development of a landscape plan is recommended. Graywater treatment and disposal/reuse systems must provide treatment and disposal at least equal to that provided by on-site system. Graywater on-site systems may be used with new residential construction and existing dwellings. Internal household plumbing may be modified (consistent with local plumbing code) to route any portion of the household graywater to the graywater on-site sewage system. Graywater on-site sewage systems may be located anywhere conventional or alternative on-site sewage systems are allowed. Site conditions, vertical separation, pretreatment requirements, setbacks and other location requirements are the same as described in Chapter 246-272 WAC. 2.4 Graywater on-sites sewage systems must provide permanent, year-round treatment and disposal of graywater unless this is already provided by an approved on-site system or connection to public sewer. Graywater on-site systems must be installed with an approved waterless toilet or other means of sewage treatment for blackwater approved by the local health officer. Graywater systems are intended to treat and dispose “residential strength” graywater. Graywater exceeding residential strength must receive pre-treatment to at least residential strength levels. Design requirements for graywater on-site sewage systems, unless otherwise noted, are the same as requirements for combined wastewater systems presented in Chapter WAC 246-272. Graywater may be used for subsurface irrigation of trees (including fruit trees) shrubs, flowers, lawns and other ground covers but must not be used for watering of food crops of vegetable gardens, any type of surface or spray irrigation, to flush toilets/urinals or to wash wall, sidewalks or driveways. The disposal component of a graywater treatment system may be designed to enhance the potential for subsurface irrigation. The efficiency of graywater reuse via subsurface irrigation depends upon the proximity of the drainfield to the root-zone of plants, shrubs, trees or turf and the method of distribution. This may be enhanced by: Installing narrower-than-normal trenches shallow in the soil profile (state rules do not have a minimum trench width; minimum trench depth is six inches). Gravel and pipe size may limit how narrow a “conventional” trench may be. It is recommended that at least two inches of gravel be provided between the sides of the distribution pipe and trench sidewalls. Small gravel size (no less that 3/4 inch) is recommended for narrow trenches; using pressure distribution to reduce the height of the trench cross section to enable shallow trench placement and to assure even distribution; and using subsurface drip irrigation (SDS) technology for shallow system placement and equal distribution in close proximity to plant, shrub, turf and trees roots. Some agronomic issues that should be considered with graywater reuse are the water needs and salt tolerances of plants to be irrigated. In many cases, the volume of graywater generated may not meet the needs of the landscape plantings. If potable water is used to augment graywater for irrigation within the same distribution network, a method of backflow prevention approved by the local health officer is required. In some geographical and climatic areas, the frost-protection needs of an SDS or a conventional drainfield trench system may be counter-productive to effective graywater reuse via subsurface irrigation (distribution piping may be too deep for plant root systems). In these areas, local health officers may permit seasonal systems where year-round treatment and disposal is provided by an approved sewage system and seasonal subsurface irrigation with graywater is provided by a separate system with a shallow drainfield or SDS. Where seasonal systems are allowed, various administrative and design issues must be addressed. Both drainfields must meet state and local rule requirements, including soil application rates, to assure treatment and disposal at least equal to that provided by conventional gravity or pressure on-site sewage systems according to Chapter 246-272 WAC. 3.4.2 Municipal sewer systems may provide year-round sewage disposal in conjunction with seasonal graywater treatment and disposal systems designed to enhance graywater reuse via subsurface irrigation. Seasonal graywater treatment and disposal/reuse systems must include a three-way diverter valve to easily divert graywater to the year-round disposal field or sewer when needed (when freezing is a problem). Local health officers may permit “laundry wastewater only” graywater disposal or reuse systems for single family residences for either year-round or seasonal use. Graywater systems limited only to laundry wastewater (including laundry sinks) may differ from other graywater systems according to the following: A single compartment retention/pump tank, with a minimum liquid capacity of 40 gallons may be used in lieu of the tank recommendations. The tank must be warranted by the manufacturer for use with wastewater and meet requirements listed in Appendix G of the 1997 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). Minimum design flow for “laundry wastewater only” systems (for the purpose of drainfield sizing) must be based on the number of bedrooms in the residence and must be no less than 30% of the minimum graywater system design flows. A wastewater filter or screen (with a maximum size opening of 1/16 inch) must be provided in an accessible location conducive to routine maintenance. Homeowners are responsible for proper operation and maintenance of their graywater systems. Specific requirements will vary according to the county where the system is located and the specific type of system. See your local health jurisdiction for local system O & M requirements.161
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
West Virginia: Secretary of State, Administrative Law
Division, State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Building 1, Suite 157K,
Charleston, WV 25305-0770; Ph. (304) 558-6000; FAX (304) 558-0900; http://www.state.wv.us/sos; Email: WVSOS@Secretary.State.WV.US;
Contact: Leah Powell.
REGULATION(S): Title 64, Interpretive Rules Board of Health, Series 47, Sewage Treatment and Collection System Design Standards (1983).
COMPOSTING TOILETS: Interpretive Rule 16-1, Series VII, 10.1. Composting toilets may be utilized only in conjunction with an approved graywater treatment and disposal system. 10.2 The design and construction of a composting toilet must meet the requirements of NSF Standard 41.
GRAYWATER: 12.1 Those houses served by a graywater disposal system must have a house sewer of not more than two inches in diameter. 12.2. Houses served by graywater disposal systems shall not have garbage disposal units. 12.3 Manufactured graywater disposal systems must be approved by the director. 12.4. Non-commercial graywater disposal systems shall consist of the following: 12.4.1. A soil absorption field designed on the basis of a 30% reduction in water usage, and constructed in accordance with the design requirements for the standard soil absorption fields. 12.4.2. A septic tank sized according to the following room sizes and minimum capacities: 2 rooms, 500 gallons; 3 to 4 rooms, 750 gallons; 5 or more rooms, add 210 gallons for each additional bedroom.162
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Wisconsin: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Program
Management, 715 Post Road, Stevens Point, WI 54481-6456; Ph. (715) 345-5334; FAX
(715) 345-5269; http://www.commerce.state.wi.us/sb-comm83revisionsandarticles.htm;
Contact: Jim Klass, Ph. (608) 266-9292 (Water Regulation).
REGULATION(S): If they existed, they may be found in Wisconsin Comm083.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER SYSTEMS, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Wyoming: Department of Environmental Quality, Water
Quality Division, Herschler Building, 122 West 25th Street, Cheyenne, WY 82002;
Ph. (307) 777-7075; http://deq.state.wy.us/wqd/w&wwpage.htm;
Contact: Larry Robinson; mailto:email@example.com
REGULATION(S): If they existed, regulations would most likely be found in Chapter XI, Part D, Septic Tank and/or Soil Absorption System, Water Quality Rules and Regulations in the Innovative and Alternative section.
COMPOSTING TOILETS, GRAYWATER SYSTEMS, CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS: No existing regulations.
Canada: Systems would be governed by the provincial Ministries of Health (municipal affairs and health, similar to our county government in the US). Check your local agency.
Other information sources: National Small Flows Clearinghouse: West Virginia University, PO Box 6064, Morgantown, WV 26506-6064; Ph. (304) 294-4191; 1-800-624-8301; National Sanitation Foundation: NSF Standard 41: Nonliquid Saturated Treatment Systems: http://www.nsf.org/
ENDNOTES (Appendix 3)
1. Memorandum from James M. Coles, Deputy Director. Division of Community Environmental Protection, State of Alabama Department of Public Health. 7 December 1998.
2. Alabama State Board of Health. 7 December 1998. Rules of State Board of Health Bureau of Environmental Services Division of Community Environmental Protection. Chapter 420-3-1, Onsite Sewage Disposal. Draft. p. 126.
3. Alabama State Board of Health, Bureau of Environmental Services, Division of Community Environmental Protection. 23 December 1998. Rules of State Board of Health Bureau of Environmental Services Division of Community Environmental Protection. Chapter 420-3-1, Onsite Sewage Disposal and Subdivision-Onsite Sewage Systems, Water Supplies and Solid Waste Management. p. 6.
4. Alabama State Board of Health. 7 December 1998. Rules of State Board of Health Bureau of Environmental Services Division of Community Environmental Protection. Chapter 420-3-1, Onsite Sewage Disposal. Draft. p. 126.
5. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Bulletin No. 12: Minimum Requirements for the Design and Installation of Septic Tank Systems and Alternative On-site Disposal Systems. June 1989. p. 65.
6. Ibid. p. 65-66.
7. Arizona Administrative Code. Department of Environmental Quality, Water Pollution Control. Article 7. Regulations for the Reuse of Wastewater. p. 14, 15, 17.
8. Knight, R. L, Randall, R. and M. Girts. May 1995. Arizona Guidance Manual for Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. p. 8-14.
9. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. June 1989. Engineering Bulleting No. 12: Minimum Requirements for the Design and Installation of Septic Tank Systems and Alternative On-Site Disposal Systems. p.64.
11. Ibid. p. 65.
12. Environmental Program Services, Division of Environmental Health Protection. April 1993. Alternate Systems Manual. Arkansas Department of Health. p. 1.
14. Ibid. p. 18.
15. Carl J. Graves, R.S., Sanitarian, Arkansas Department of Health. Personal communication. 25 February 1999. 12. Environmental Program Services, Division of Environmental Health Protection. April 1993. Alternate Systems Manual. Arkansas Department of Health. p. 18.
16. Ibid. p. 18.
18. Ibid. p. 13-16
19. Ibid. p. 13-16
20. State of California. Building Standards Commission. 28 September 1997. Appendix G. Graywater Systems. Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). Title 24, Part 5, California Administrative Code. p. 79-85.
21. Colorado Department of Health. 1994. Guidelines on Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 6.
22. Colorado Department of Health. 1994. Guidelines on Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 46.
23. Ibid. p. 47.
24. Ibid. p. 7.
25. Ibid. p. 44.
26. Ibid. p. 6.
27. Ibid. p. 43.
28. Connecticut Public Health Code. Regulations and Technical Standards for Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. Section 19-13-B100, Section 19-13-B103, Technical Standards, Section 19-13-B104. January 1997. p. 12.
29. Ibid. p. 42-43.
30. Ibid. p. 7.
31. Ibid. p. 12.
32. State of Delaware, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. 31 January 1995. Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems. Forward.
33. David Hammonds, Florida Bureau of Water and Onsite Sewage Programs. Personal conversation. 25 February 1999.
34. State of Florida, Department of Health. 3 March 1998. Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code, Standards for On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems. p. 20.
35. Ibid. p. 22.
36. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/citizen/documents/statutes/1998/ch0381/sec0065_.htm 5 April 1999. p. 1.
37. State of Florida, Department of Health. 3 March 1998. Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code, Standards for On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems. p. 31.
38. Florida Administrative Code. 13 February 1997. Standards for On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, Chapter 10D-6.
39. National Small Flows Clearinghouse. 1997. Graywater Systems from the State Regulations. WWBLRG24. p. 19, 20, 23-24.
40. David Hammonds, Florida Bureau of Water and Onsite Sewage Programs. Personal conversation. 25 February 1999.
41. State of Georgia. 20 February 1998. Chapter 290-5-59. Special Onsite Sewage Management Systems. p. D-18.
42. State of Georgia. 20 February 1998 Chapter 290-5-59. Special Onsite Sewage Management Systems. p. 2.
43. Ibid. p. D-19.
44. Corbitt, Bill. 16 July 1997. Aquatic Sewage Treatment Systems in Georgia, Past and Present. Georgia Environmentalist. Georgia Environmental Health Association. p. 8-14.
45. Hawaii Department of Health. 30 August 1991. Amendment and Compilation of Chapter 11-62. p. 62-4.
46. Ibid. p. 62-5.
47. Ibid. p. 62-24.
48. Ibid. p. 62-26.
49. Ibid. p. 62-23.
50. National Small Flows Clearinghouse. 1997. Graywater Systems from the State Regulations. WWBLRG24. p. 25.
51. Hawaii Department of Health. 30 August 1991. Amendment and Compilation of Chapter 11-62. p. 62-23.
52. Ibid. p. 62-26.
53. State of Idaho. 993. IDAPA 16. Title 01, Chapter 03. Rules for Individual/Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 16-8.
54. Idaho Division of Environmental Quality. 8 January 1999. Technical Guidance Manual for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 33.
55. Barry Burnell, Idaho Division of Environmental Quality. Personal communication. 8 January 1999.
57. Idaho Division of Environmental Quality. 25 October 1996. Technical Guidance Manual for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 1-4.
58. Barry Burnell, Idaho Division of Environmental Quality. Personal communication. 8 January 1999.
59. Illinois Department of Public Health. 1996. Private Sewage Disposal Licensing Act and Code. p. 54.
60. Ibid. p. 63.
61. Ibid. p. 56.
62. Tim Decker, Indiana State Department of Health. Personal communication. 30 April 1999.
63. Iowa Chapter 69: On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems. 567--69.11(455B) Constructed wetlands section.
64. Kansas Administrative Regulations. 1 January 1973. Chapter 25-5-9. Variance. p. 126.
65. State of Kansas Department of Health and Environment. March 1997. Bulletin 4-2: Minimum Standards for Design and Construction of Onsite Wastewater Systems. p. 1.
66. Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources. September 1989. On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems Regulations. 902 KAR 10:081 and 902 KAR 10:085. p. 25.
67. Ibid. p. 58-59.
68. Ibid. p. 48.
69. Department for Public Health. August 1997. Kentucky Public Health Homeowner’s Manual. Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 29
70. Teda Boudreaux. Louisiana Department of Health. Personal communication 3 May 1999.
71. Department of Human Services. 20 January 1998. Maine Subsurface Waste Water Disposal Rules. 144A CMR 214. p. 15-1, 15-2.
72. Ibid. p. 15-3.
73. Jay Prager, Acting Chief, Division of Residential Sanitation, Maryland Department of the Environment. 26 October 1990. Innovative/Alternative Section. Memorandum: Guidance on Waterless Toilet Systems. p. 1.
74. Ibid. p. 2.
75. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Department of Environmental Protection. 4 March 1998. 310 CMR 15.000: Title 5: Innovative and Alternative Subsurface Sewage Disposal Technologies Approved for Use in Massachusetts. p.1,9. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Department of Environmental Protection. 16 April 1998. The Use of Composting Toilets in Massachusetts. p. 1-4.
76. Ibid. p. 4.
77. Ruth Alfasso, Graywater Piloting Coordinator, Massachusetts DEP. Personal communication. 6 January 1999.
79. Rick Fallardeau, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Personal communication. April 1999.
80. Michigan Department of Public Health. July 1986. Guidelines for Acceptable Innovative or Alternative Waste Treatment Systems and Acceptable Graywater Systems. p. 1.
81. Ibid. Attachment A. Act No. 421. Public Acts of 1980. Approved by Governor. 13 January 1981. p. 1.
82. Ibid. p. 2.
83. Michigan Department of Public Health. July 1986. Guidelines for Acceptable Innovative or Alternative Waste Treatment Systems and Acceptable Graywater Systems. p. 2.
84. Ibid. p. 2.
85. Ibid. p. 3.
86. Ibid. p. 3.
87. Ibid. p. 3.
88. Ibid Attachment C. Act 230, Public Acts of 1972, as amended Michigan Construction Code. p. 1.
89. Rick Fallardeau, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Personal communication. April 1999.
90. McGeachy, Ben. date unknown. A Review of Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands Literature and Suggested Design and Construction Practices. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
91. Roberta Wirth, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Personal communication. 14 January 1999.
92. Minnesota Rules. 3 November 1998.. Chapter 7080.0910. Alternative and Experimental Systems.
93. Ibid. Section E1-E7.
94. Mississippi Individual On-Site Wastewater Disposal System Law. 1996. Chapter 41-67. MSDH 300-Section 02A-03.
95. Ibid. MSDH 300-Section 02A-XIII-01.
96. Ibid. MSDH 300-Section 02A-VII-01.
97. Missouri Department of Health. 1995. Missouri Laws Accompanied by Department of Health Rules Governing On-site Sewage Systems. Missouri Laws for On-Site Disposal Systems. p. 1.
98. Missouri Department of Health. 1995 Missouri Laws Accompanied by Department of Health Rules Governing On-site Sewage Systems. Title 19- Department of Health, Division 20-Environmental Health & Epidemiology, Chapter 3- General Sanitation. p. 37.
99. Ibid. p. 9.
100. Ibid. p. 34.
101. Montana Department of Health and Environmental Sciences. Circular WQB 5. Minimum Design Standards for On-Site Alternative Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems. p. 4.
102. Ibid. p. 5
103. Nevada Adopted Regulation R 129-98. February 1998. p. 59-61.
105. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/rules.htm p. 11.
106. Ibid. p. 6-7.
107. Ibid. p. 65, 68-69.
108. Ibid. p. 6.
109. Ibid. p. 25.
110. Brian Schall, New Mexico Environment Department. Personal communication. 1999.
113. New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board. October 1997. Liquid Waste Disposal Regulations. p. 6.
114. New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board. October 1997. Liquid Waste Disposal Regulations. p 38.
115. New York State Department of Health. 1996. Individual Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems Design Handbook.
116. Ibid. p. 56.
118. Ibid. p. 56-57.
119. State of New York. 1 December 1990. Appendix 75-A. Wastewater Treatment Standards - Individual Household Systems. Statutory Authority,: Public Health Law, 201(1)(1), New York. p. 31.
121. Ibid. p. 14.
122. Ben Pierson, New York State Department of Health. Personal communication. 6 April 1999.
123. National Small Flows Clearinghouse. September 1997. Alternative Toilets from the State Regulations. WWBKRG23. p. 53-54.
124. Joni Cardin, North Carolina Division of Water Quality. Personal communication. 7 January 1999.
125. State of North Dakota. 1996. Chapter 62-03-16. Individual Sewage Treatment Systems for Homes and Other Establishments Where Public Sewage Systems are not Available. p. 249.
127. Ohio Department of Health. 1 July 1977. Chapter 3701-29-01 to 3701-29-21. Household Sewage Disposal Rules. p. 21.
128. Oklahoma Chapter 640, Individual and Small Public Sewage Disposal. 1998. p. 12-13.
129. Oregon Chapter 447.115. 1997. http://landru.leg.state.or.us/ors/447.htmstate.or.us/ors/447.htm 21 January 1999.
130. Oregon Chapter 918-790-0010. 1998. http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_900/OAR_918/918_770.htm
131. Oregon Chapter 918-770-0050. 1998. Plumbing Product Approval. http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_900/OAR_918/918_770.htm
132. Oregon Chapter 447.115. 1997. http://landru.leg.state.or.us/ors/447.htm 21 January 1999.
133. National Small Flows Clearinghouse. September 1997. Greywater Systems from the State Regulations. p. 36.
134. Ibid. p. 37.
135. Terry Swisher, Oregon Chief Plumbing Inspector. Personal communication. 14 January 1999.
136. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 17 January 1998. Pennsylvania Code. Title 25. Environmental Protection. p. 73-6.
137. Ibid. p. 73-47 - 73-48.
138. Ibid. p. 73-10.
139. Ibid. p. 73-48 to 73-49.
140. Rhode Island. September 1998. Chapter 12-120-002, Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 40-42.
142. Ibid. p. 43-46.
143. Richard Hatfield, South Carolina Onsite Wastewater Management Branch. Personal communication. 7 January 1999.
144. http://landru.leg.state.or.us/ors/447.htm 7 January 1999.
145. National Small Flows Clearinghouse. September 1997. Greywater Systems from the State Regulations. p. 39-41.
146. Tennessee Rules of Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Ground Water Protection. 1997. Chapter 1200-1-6: Regulations to Govern Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. p. 59.
147. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. 8 January 1999. Chapter 285, On-Site Sewage Facilities. p. 2, 19.
148. Ibid. p. 1, 3.
149. Ken Graber, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. Personal communication. 4 April 1999.
151. http://www.eq.state.ut.us/eqwq/wqrules.htm 6 January 1999.
152. Bonnie Loomer-Hostetler, Information Services Chief of the Vermont Wastewater Management Division. Personal communication. 7 January 1999.
153. John Akielaszek, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Personal communication. 12 January 1999.
155. Technical Review Committee. June 1994. Guidelines for Composting Toilets. Washington State Department of Health. p. 2.
156. Water Conserving On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems. 5 April 1999. Washington State Department of Health. p. 3.
157. Technical Review Committee. June 1994. Guidelines for Composting Toilets. Washington State Department of Health. p. 1.
158. Water Conserving On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems. 5 April 1999. Washington State Department of Health. p. 2.
159. Ibid. p. 4.
160. Technical Review Committee. June 1994. Guidelines for Composting Toilets. Washington State Department of Health. p. 3, 4, 5.
161. Technical Review Committee. June 1994. Guidelines for Composting Toilets. Washington State Department of Health. p. 19, 20, 22, 23.
162. West Virginia Board of Health. 1983. Interpretive Rule 16-1. Series VII. Part V. Sec. 10.0. p. 135.
Source: The Humanure Handbook. Jenkins
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