Straight piping is when wastewater is released from a home directly into the ground or local water supplies due to lack of access to a sewage system or septic tank. Unfortunately, there are many households in Appalachia that still have straight pipes, not because they want it, but because they either cannot afford to have proper septic systems or because they do not have access to such services.
There are two categories of wastewater that is released through straight pipes: grey water and black water. Grey water consists of runoff from sinks, showers, or washing machines that contains cleaning chemicals. Black water refers to raw sewage. Both types are harmful to our environment and can cause disease not only for the families in the house originating the wastewater but for other families, animals, and plants.
Fahe and members participate in programs to help families in Appalachia receive funding for septic tank systems. We also work with local communities to develop and expand existing sewage systems to outlying neighborhoods.
What are your thoughts on straight piping? Did you know that 31% of Kentucky’s waterways have tested positive for fecal coliform, a bacterium that indicates the presence of fecal matter? Is this acceptable? We don’t think so and you can help us make a difference for the families in Appalachia and our environment. People don’t actively seek to pollute the waterways but what do you do if the money isn’t there?
To help keep our waters clean, you can make a donation to Fahe. Having worked in Appalachia for over 30 years, we know how to get your money to the right places to make a difference. If you are more hands on, then you or your organization can volunteer. For those opportunities, please contact Jackie Weiss for a list of members accepting volunteers.