When wastewater infrastructure can be delivered on demand, developers can build scalable distributed sewer the way they build roads and give it to the community.
Piperton, TN, a small town with a new highway exchange east of Memphis, also recognized the potential in the distributed approach to sewer. The town wanted development, however, its small tax base prohibited building to a forward forecast in demand. It also wanted to retain its rural character. but septic systems and central sewers would create the risks of sprawl.
Piperton designed a governing system of variances and compliance guidelines that included the use of a flood plain, a simplified approval process, and incentives for developers. The developers received increased density, reduced infrastructure costs, potential for additional homes, and additional value for municipal sewer services.
Piperton built 280,000 gallons per day of municipal wastewater infrastructure assets at no cost to the community. It accomplished this by creating a negotiated or bartered form of public/private partnership without risking its own resources and without the costs associated with conventional sewer.