WHAT ABOUT GREYWATER WASTE?
If you live in a rural setting or in a municipality where there are no sanitary sewers, chances are treatment and disposal of sewage wastewater is your own responsibility. Some knowledge of the requirements for sewage disposal is necessary in order to protect you and your family’s health, the environment and the value of your property. A polluted environment, including surface water or ground water, can dramatically decrease the value of local properties.
Sewage wastewater from a dwelling or most businesses is made up of greywater and blackwater. Greywater is wash water. Greywater is generally defined as the wastewater product from baths and showers, clothes washers and bathroom sinks. Blackwater is the wastewater generated by toilets, kitchen sinks, garbage grinders and dishwashers.
Greywater contains far less pollutants, such as nitrogen and pathogens, than blackwater and is therefore easier to treat and dispose of. Still, special care and attention must be paid to the proper treatment and disposal of greywater in order to protect the health of the environment and individuals.
On most properties serviced by a private sewage system, such as a septic tank system, greywater and blackwater are mixed and treated together. For the majority of situations, this is acceptable and is in fact the preferred method of sewage wastewater disposal. Modern sewage systems, those generally installed in the last thirty years, are designed to accommodate both blackwater and greywater from the building.
Other properties, including remote cottage/cabin installations, tent and trailer parks, amusement parks or fall fairs, etc., pose different problems for the treatment and disposal of sewage wastewater.
Consult the local sewage system inspector in your municipality for advice on how to best proceed with your particular needs and for information on what rules and guidelines are applicable to greywater sewage systems. Ontario Regulation 403/97, made under the Ontario Building Code, contains requirements and specifications for the disposal of greywater wastes.
For more information on private sewage systems, please visit the Public Health Unit online at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca or call Public Health at 376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456.
- 30 -
We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health