Wastewater: What It Is and How to Handle It

The environmental professionals at Applied Resource Management offer many services that are integral to the smooth execution of home and business-related projects. Some of our services include performing due diligence during property acquisitions, inspecting sites for hazardous substances, and obtaining various permits.

One of our most important services is helping our clients deal with wastewater and stormwater treatment and removal, a process that is vital to a healthy world and thriving population. We can’t exist without water, so taking steps to ensure we treat this precious resource in a responsible way should be a priority no matter what project you undertake.

What is wastewater, anyway?

First, a brief definition. Wastewater, for those who aren’t sure, is any water that has been adversely affected by the impact of humans. This can include any combination of activities from domestic to industrial to agricultural. Basically, if the water has been tainted or changed by humans, it must be treated or disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. This keeps wastewater from upsetting the natural balance of the environment, not to mention spreading pathogens and diseases to humans and animals.

Treatment and disposal—in that order.

Before wastewater can be disposed, it must be treated. Federal, state, and local regulations prohibit the disposal of untreated water into storm drains and surface water, and those who break this law will face hefty consequences. Only after the water has been neutralized can it be returned to the environment.

Some types of wastewater, such as sewage, can be handled by the government in larger urban areas, through municipal wastewater treatment centers. Septic tanks can also help take care of wastewater. In rural areas septic tanks often do this work, so it’s important to ensure that your system follows current guidelines and is working to the best of its ability.

Yes, you CAN recycle water!   

When most people think of recycling, the picture paper, plastic, and aluminum. They don’t usually think of water, but it’s also a resource that can and should be reused when it’s safe to do so.

Some types of wastewater can be reused. For example, gray water—that is, water from bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and clothes washing equipment—can be used in gardening, agriculture, and landscaping, as long as it’s not being consumed by humans. (Using all natural and biodegradable cleaning and personal care products is a good idea if you plan to recycle your water at home.) Another type of water that can be reused is water that has been run through a building’s cooling process. Again, this water shouldn’t be consumed or used for bathing, but it can be reused in other ways.

Need help navigating the world of wastewater?  

If you need help removing wastewater or applying for and procuring any of the required permits, contact Applied Resource Management today. Our professionals can help complete projects of any size in a safe, legal, and environmentally-friendly way. Together, we can help the earth, your business, and each other.

Geothermal Versus Air Source Heat Pumps

Geothermal HVAC vs. Air Source Heat Pumps 

At Applied Resource Management, we’re big believers in geothermal energy. Because of this, we get a lot of questions about geothermal. Is it really that much better than a traditional air source heat pump? Is it worth updating your current system? How do these two heating and cooling systems really compare?

To answer these questions and shed some light on the benefits of geothermal heating & cooling, we’ve put together the following post that pits geothermal (water source) against traditional (air source) heat pumps. See how they stack up, then decide which one is right for you. And remember—if you choose geothermal, Applied Resource Management can help install it in your home or business.


Geothermal heating & cooling utilizes never-ending solar energy stored in the shallow earth to modulate your inside air temperature. It is heat that is available, renewable, consistent, and hidden just below the surface of the earth. Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, inefficiently collect air from the extremes of summer and winter, struggling to squeeze coolness from the dog days of August and heat from frigid January nights.


Geothermal heat pump systems are more energy efficient. Even in the coldest winter, they operate between 300% and 600% efficiency, while an air source heat pump only reaches 175% to 300% efficiency, even when the weather is milder. This is a great benefit for your wallet as well as the planet!


While air source heat pumps are cheaper to install initially, they have about half the life expectancy and efficiency. Geothermal energy will offer a lower price tag in the long run. This is a case in which a little patience can yield big savings. If you plan to move in the next few years, you may be tempted to install an air source heat pump to save money. We still recommend going geothermal, as a geothermal system can increase the value of your home.


All the components of a geothermal heat pump are indoors or underground, which protects them from the elements. Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, require an outdoor unit, which will need to be cleaned regularly in order for it to run efficiently. This takes time and energy. The lovely sea air we enjoy so much locally will also do considerable damage to an outdoor condenser unit, reducing the life expectancy to around +/- 8 years. A geothermal condenser has a 30 year life expectancy. In the case of damage caused by salt air, debris, storms, or vandals, the help of a professional is likely required.


Buying and installing an Energy Star-qualified geothermal heat pump means you may be eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. There is no similar tax credit for air source heat pumps.

We hope this post helps you narrow down your choices as you consider heating and cooling solutions for your home! To learn more about geothermal energy, or to schedule a consultation and installation, contact Applied Resource Management today.