How should we apply wastewater to street and park trees in unsewered towns?

Discussion in 'Environmental and Health Professionals Interested' started by Callum EHO, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    Many small blocks on unsewered towns are over developed with not enough space or funds for proper onsite wastewater management and containment. Sometime neighbours have constructed dams, bores or wells too close and have prevented the use of what space there might have been available.

    Trees have tremendous wastewater nutrient and volume take up potential but the technical difficulty has been how to apply the wastewater without the tree being destabilised or rotted, the delivery/application system being blocked with particles or tree roots and wastewater being made available but in a way that holds back the wastewater at times when the tree does not need it so the excess wastewater does not overflow and escape into nearby street drains, stormwater systems or dams. The EPA setback distances exist for wastewater applications systems that have no potential for hold back of flow, maybe smarter systems could be placed closer to these sensitive land uses. Traditionally the EPA have suggested staying outside the drip line of large trees with conventional wastewater application systems but if the right ways of harnessing this environment could be found then the bonus transpiration, shelter from high rainfall and effective double dipping by planting some other water loving plants around the base of the tree (where normally most plants die off often due to lack of water not falling from above and being drawn away by the roots below.

    What would be the optimum street or reserve tree for this purpose?
    I had paperbarks in mind - common native street tree with not a huge root systems.

    The greywater, wormwater or blackwater (from a septic tank) application system I suspect would need to be held back to an elevated storage tank by a ball valve arrangement. There may even need to be two ball valves involved if there are two levels of sumps which wastewater is being applied to below ground.

    The sumps I had in mind were old tyres cut in half around the perimeter so they held water and made it accessible to plants and wick effects but would not "overflow" so to speak. To prevent root blockage I was going to make sure there was a 100mm air gap at the application point above the water level.

    Legally we will need special lease or legal agreements with land holders to extend their wastewater systems off their property but these would hopefully be pretty practical and probably preferable to being forced to connect to town sewerage.

    Any comments or other suggestions ?
     
  2. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    rubble drain on appropriate contour!
    consider the amount of water you wish to be transpired then chose species swamp cypruss works well
     
  3. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    Thank you for the swamp cypruss tip.
    Can't let any excess surface or escape to drain and don't want clogging with roots so the wastewater drainage will need partial containment.
     
  4. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    myco remediation along with reed beds would be one way to decontaminate water, once it passed through this set up then it could go into a holding pond or tank system. Another way to decontaminate is with Moringa trees, they are magnificent accumulators of many contaminants like heavy metals. Their rood systems are not far reaching but do go deep below the surface so they can mine minerals. Since this is also a good food tree it is important to monitor the contaminate content prior to using them as a food supply for both humans and animals.
     
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  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i would say that with such a neighborhood that dry composting would
    be a much better treatment and then you would not have black water to
    deal with. then working on reducing the amount of greywater too by
    using more efficient techniques and appliances.

    sometimes the best solution is to go back and look at the whole
    waste stream and see what can be changed.

    i'll second reed beds as a good way to improve greywater before it
    gets to other further uses, but you also have to remember that they
    do need regular care.
     

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