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Hancock County Citizen Benefits from Scrap Tires

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Water Resources and the Office of Sustainable Practices coordinated an effort with Appalachia On-Site Solutions to resolve a failing septic system for a citizen in need.  Licensed installers Jeff Marion and Oneil Greene conducted the field line repairs utilizing 27 cubic yards of tire derived aggregate (TDA)  donated by Patriot Recycling Incorporated.  This is the first approved pilot project using TDA following the Division of Water Resources approved guidelines. 

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Ms. Della Miller was experiencing septic field line failure at her home in Hancock County and following registered complaints from neighbors, she received a notice of violation from TDEC.  Ms. Miller contacted several licensed installers to make repairs but the costs were beyond her means.  As the case advanced toward enforcement, the Division of Water Resources staff recognized Ms. Miller’s desire to comply and her need for assistance. They followed up with site visits her house to help access and resolve the situation.

Dane Cutshaw, with TDEC’s Division of Water Resources in Johnson City, was contacted by Dennis Burley with Appalachia On-Site Solutions (AOSS) about the issue of septic system failures throughout the area and possible resources available for such situations. Dane immediately realized this could be the mechanism to expedite a solution for Ms. Miller’s failing system.  The project was a great fit for the program, and the pieces were quickly put together for a solution with collaborative efforts by the  Division of Water Resources and the Office of Sustainable Practices.

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Following the planning process, work began on September 6, 2016, with installation of new field lines to repair the failing septic system. Dennis Burley and Jerry Barger with AOSS were on site along with the installers Jeff Marion and Oneil Greene to begin the repairs using TDA donated by Patriot Recycling Inc.  TDEC representatives JK Perkins and Dane Cutshaw joined AOSS on site to observe, monitor, and inspect the repair process.

The repair process resulted in 130 linear feet of TDA field lines being installed although site conditions limited the area available for installation.  The TDA used in the repairs for the failing septic system resulted in the equivalent of approximately 1,900 Tennessee tires diverted from landfills.  This is a small step in the right direction to finding beneficial end use for scrap tires. This collaborative effort between public and private partners resulted in assistance to a citizen in need along with multiple benefits for environmental protection.