I know I’m usually all about poop and toilet paper, but today I’d like to discuss tires with you. Tires? Why is the septic lady talking about tires? Well, they are actually a pretty useful material when recycled, but let me back up a minute first.
Those of you who live in the Lancaster County area are probably pretty familiar with the high clay content in our soils. High clay content doesn’t work so great for long functioning septic systems. It traps water and keeps it there. Not good for water and really bad for wastewater – pooling wastewater is gross, smelly, and nasty….and gross. Did I mention gross? For soil types with a failing perc rate (typically because of clay content), the customer will usually resort to a lagoon or polishing pond. However, some developments have covenants against these wastewater systems so an engineered septic system is installed.
What’s an engineered septic system? It’s basically a septic system with some sort of media in the lateral beds to help create space underground. Around here, most installers will use some sort of gravel, but guess what else is considered suitable media? Tires….well, tire chips!
Using tire chips isn’t a new idea, but it is a newer concept to our area of Nebraska. Studies have been done about the use of tire chips and found them to be a good form of media in septic beds. Plus, we are able to use a product that struggles to find a good place to land after it is taken off your car.
So again, you may ask, why are YOU talking about tire chips? Well, our company is going to start using tire chips in our septic beds. We are currently building a facility to shred tires and then use its pieces in the lateral field. We feel like it will provide a longer lasting system because of our area’s clay content and we can do it for about the same price as a conventional septic system since we will be processing the tires ourselves. Our goal is always about the environment and protecting ground water, but if we can also help in other recycling measures, plus create a good, long lasting septic system – then we’re excited to do that too! But here’s another fun fact about using tire chips…because it is a recycled product – there are rebate programs with the state for you to get money back if you can show how many tons were used in your system! Win-win, right?
We are super excited to get started. We hope to be up and running this fall and install our new tire chip systems in the spring and summer of 2021.