VIDEO UPDATE/ BRIEF: Using the old septic tank to water the lawn?

Using the septic tank to save water

Marco City Manager Steve Thompson on septic ...

— City Manager Steve Thompson said the city is in the process of applying for grants which might allow single family homeowners to convert their septic tank into a cistern to use for watering their lawns by collecting rain water.

The grant applications are due in April and rules are also being set, likely in late April or early May, to allow such use.

Thompson said the grants would likely be for about $500 for the homeowner with conversion possible after Oct. 1. Disinfection, conversion and setting up the septic tank as a cistern for irrigation would likely cost $2,500 to $5,000 per home, he said.

“It’s all still very iffy,” Thompson said Monday.

He anticipates sending further information to residents in upcoming water bills.

“We anticipate a water savings of about $60 per year net. This is not an economical thing. It is an environmental issue,” Thompson said.

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Comments » 5

marcoislandres writes:

I guess it just cost more here on Marco Island then in the keys to convert the septic tank.

From the Miami Herald article "Once hooked up to a central sewer, homeowners and businesses originally had only one option: decommission the septic tanks by pumping them out and then either punching holes in the bottom or filling them with gravel, which costs about $500.


Turning them into cisterns costs about another $500 for do-it-yourselfers, and about $1,000 to $1,500 if a contractor is hired."

Here is a link to the article

CaptainKoKo writes:

Why not line the interior of tank with an impermeable covering to prevent all the nasty issues the Health Depts fear??

MarcoJimbo writes:

What's to fear? Once the tank is pumped out, flushed with chlorine bleach, and filled with rainwater the pathogens will be gone. Besides, your plants don't need the chlorine, ammonia, and fluoride they put in our drinking water anyway. Thumbs-up to City Manager Steve for getting on board with an idea whos time is now.

Marconian writes:

This is a good idea,but with septic tanks only ranging from 750-1200 gallons is it really worth it? the last time I looked I only paid around $4.00 and some change for every thousand gallons.with the rains rarely falling how long would it take to even collect enough water to use the system? no thank you! I don't think this is for me.

Fossil writes:

Why has the City taken so long to get on board with this? Could it be that some were afraid of losing revenue? Members of CARES attempted to get the City to let us convert our tanks years ago. Marconian, you are short sighted. The rest of us that still can will use that water to help us defray costs for the next ten years or more. Over the long haul, we will save a lot of money and you will still be paying ever increasing fees.

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