Opening A Beauty Salon In Massachusetts? The Real Costs Of Wastewater Disposal

8 April 2016
 Categories: , Articles


Are you opening a beauty salon in Massachusetts? If so, you may not have given as much thought as is necessary to the cost of your wastewater removal. If you think the cost of this service is just about being on your city's sewer system and paying a monthly water bill or having a septic tank and pay to have it pumped out every couple of years -- then you're overlooking some very important guidelines of title 5. Here's what you should know about the real costs of salon wastewater removal before you start your business.

The Dangers Of Salon Water

Ordinary wastewater and shampoo rinse water are perfectly safe to discharge into your ordinary salon septic tank, as long as your discharge rate is less than 10,000 gallons per day. Rinse water from hair dyes, perms, and other hair treatments that contain chemicals, however, can do a lot of damage. Your septic tank plays host to beneficial bacteria that work to break down the solids in your wastewater and stave off harmful bacteria. When then chemical-laden hair products enter the system, the chemicals can weaken or kill the beneficial bacteria, thus allowing harmful bacteria to grow and multiply.

Not only can these harmful bacteria prohibit your septic system from doing what it was designed to do, but they can also contaminate the groundwater if they make it through the system and out into your leach field.

If Your Establishment Is On A Municipal Sewer Line, You're Fine

Your municipal water treatment plant is designed to handle and disinfect all kinds of wastewater. If your salon is located in town and you'll be using the city sewer system for your wastewater disposal needs, you can use the same drains for all your wastewater and you won't need to make any adjustments to the existing setup. You'll be responsible for the monthly water bill your town issues you and nothing more.

If Your Establishment Uses A Septic System, Things Get Trickier

Since you can't funnel your hair treatment wastewater into a septic system, the state of Massachusetts requires your facility to have a holding tank. Holding tanks are designed to contain hazardous wastewater separate from your septic system, and must be pumped out on a regular basis.

The size of the holding tank you'll need varies by how much business you do, but to give you an idea, a 4-chair salon can use in excess of 26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) of water per year. A 2,000 gallon holding tank will cost you between $10,000 and $15,000 to have designed and installed. The holding tank will come with an alarm system that alerts you when it is nearing full capacity, at which point you'll need to contact a septic pumping service to have it emptied. The cost of pumping a holding tank out varies by tank size and accessibility, but you can expect the most inexpensive services to cost at least $150.

You'll also need a holding tank if your salon is on the municipal sewer system but generates wastewater in excess of 10,000 gallons per day. Furthermore, you'll need to train your staff thoroughly on making sure wastewater from chemical-based hair treatments goes down drains that lead to the holding tank only.

If you're opening a salon in Massachusetts, your cost of wastewater removal may be a bit higher than you initially anticipated. If your establishment will be using a septic system or if you expect to be very busy and generate an excessive amount of wastewater, contact a septic tank specialist to help you design a holding tank that meets the requirement of title 5 and the needs of your future business.

For more information, contact a septic services specialist like John C Parmenter Inc.