Waste water may disappear down the sink and into a city’s sewer system or it may be in-your-face with ‘suck trucks’ carting grey water and sewage away. Some grey water can make its way straight into the ground water using soak-aways. How you manage waste water is a primary environmental concern.
Events that are not connected to municipal sewer lines will need to arrange for their waste water to be pumped into tankers and taken by road to sewage treatment plants. Some grey water may be able to be disposed of at the event site.
Grey Water Management
- Capture and treat grey water
- Use soak-aways, reed bed or mechanical filtering and run off water
- Re-use grey water onsite for non-contact uses
- Dispose of through sewer mains or tankered to treatment plants
Waste Water Disposal Options:
Soak-aways are a hole dug in the ground which fills up with waste water, and naturally drains away back into the water table. The soil acts as a natural filter, and as the water drains away, any residue that was in the water, will be left in the soil. In using this system for water disposal, it is very important that no chemicals or other contaminant are in the water.
- Grey Water Treatment & Re-Use
To re-use grey water on the event site you need to store, treat, and re-store it ready for use. Having prevented it from going to the sewer works, it can be used to flush toilets, for dust suppression or irrigation in the weeks after the event. Grey water treatment processes can use a completely natural system such as a reed bed, or a system of chambers and filters. Depending on volumes, consistency of use, etc, a more technical grey water treatment set up may be appropriate. If you decide treat grey water and re-use at your event, you are advised to seek out an expert to design your system.
If disposing of grey water through run off or soak-aways, ensure it is chemical free and at a distance prescribed by the local Environment Agency from a waterway. (likely to be at least 100m).
- Set up a grey water catchment system.
- Arrange the storage and treatment of grey water so it can be recycled and used again at your event site.
- Ensure the supply of adequate toilets to avoid urination on land and waterways.
- Protect the riparian zone, the region between land and a waterway, from any activity or impact.
- Prevent excessive urination direct to the land or waterways.
- Gravity feed water where possible to reduce the need for powered water pumps.