David grew up in South Carolina and earned a B.S. (2010) and M.S. (2012) in civil engineering from Clemson University. His master’s research involved greywater treatment and reuse, which is how he learned about Greywater Action. David now works as a Project Engineer with a consulting firm in Charleston, SC, and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). His experience is primarily in municipal water/wastewater infrastructure. He is also an Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) and is passionate about sustainability.
David is not a licensed contractor, although he has some limited construction experience acquired through mission trips and service projects.
Here are answers the most common questions David receives:
(1) This is the current legal status of greywater in SC (according to an SCDHEC official): “Greywater is treated the same as wastewater for the purposes of disposal. Greywater could be used inside a home for things like flushing toilets (if consistent with local building and standard plumbing codes), but if discharged is treated as wastewater (needing either connection to a sanitary sewer or a septic system).”
(2) Realistically, I would not get your hopes up about getting a greywater system approved by DHEC. I have talked with multiple people now who tried doing greywater reuse (and/or a composting toilet) in lieu of a septic tank, and in the end DHEC forced them to install a full-blown septic system anyways (septic tank plus drain field). Unfortunately the state’s regulations simply don’t allow for greywater reuse currently. (I think it may take a severe drought like the ones California has had to shift their attitude.)
(3) If you want to be a trailblazer and try to change DHEC’s stance, kudos to you! I am happy to provide information about what is being done elsewhere (e.g., California), but since I have to work with DHEC regularly to obtain permits for the projects I design during my full-time job, I am not comfortable starting any sort of dispute with them (joining a lawsuit, testifying in court, etc.). I’d prefer to use persuasion and evidence-based reasoning rather than attacking DHEC.
(4) To properly design a greywater system, I would need to come to your property to do an assessment (soil types, runoff patterns, property lines, vegetation, etc.). If you live anywhere outside of Charleston, SC, it may be difficult to coordinate a visit since I have a baby at home. But you can reach out and I’ll try to help you the best I can.
The best way to reach David is by email.