Alabama Encourages TDA Use

New septic tank initiative rebates residential systems.

A septic system project near Collins Chapel, Alabama installed last month is the first in the state to use tire-derived field aggregate (TDA) in lieu of sand or gravel in the installation of a septic tank drain field. The project is also the first to benefit from a new State program that provides grants to support the use of TDA as the drainage media in individual, residential systems.

Under the program, launched in January of this year, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is making $100,000 available to increase awareness, and use of scrap materials in septic tank drain fields. The Collins Chapel project was eligible for a $2,500 reimbursement under the new ADEM program.

In order to participate in the reimbursement program, the septic system must be installed at a residence, and TDA must be utilized as the drainage media. The design and installation of the septic system must meet, or exceed, the requirements that have been established by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

In addition, the septic system must be installed by an installer that is licensed through the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board.

The reimbursement also requires pre-approval from ADEM through the submittal of an application.

Preference will be given to installations that utilize TDA from scrap tires that are generated in Alabama.

To produce TDA, scrap tires are processed into smaller pieces ranging in size from 1/2 inch to a maximum four inches in any direction depending on the requirements of individual state specifications to TDA. The most commonly used TDA pieces are two inches in size, according to industry data.

Studies have shown that TDA performs as well as sand and gravel while being much easier to handle.

According to ADEM, Alabama residents produce more than 5 million scrap tires each year, and another four million are imported into Alabama annually for disposal. Although almost seven million scrap tires are beneficially reused each year, ADEM is hoping to improve this recycling rate through the septic tank system reimbursement program.

© Scrap Tire News, April 2011