Newbie greywater question - simplest system possible

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by beginnergardener, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. beginnergardener

    beginnergardener Junior Member

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    Is it possible/allowed to have a greywater system installed by a plumber that is simply a tap that you can connect a hose to that takes the water from the water pipe going out (but not including the toilet). So there is a no tank involved it simply runs onto the garden when the tap is on (which you could turn off in winter).

    Is something like that possible in a suburban area?

    What is the simplest greywater system with no storage involved? What would the simplest system cost for a plumber to install?
     
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    it depends upon what your local regulations might be.

    i'm in the USoA where different communities have different standards
    and whether or not a plumber would do something like that will
    depend upon local codes.

    in the suburbs i think the codes are going to be more strict and for
    good reasons. you really don't want someone taking greywater
    from a sink if it used to wash meat or other items which might
    be contaminated and thus be a potential cause of spreading disease.

    and besides that there is the potential smell and having untreated
    washwater running around or such.

    i tank allows for ebb and flow through a system like a reed bed
    which would keep waste water away from flies and also help
    moderate smells and somewhat treat the water.

    no idea of costs for what in your area.
     
  3. beginnergardener

    beginnergardener Junior Member

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    Ok thanks, it sounds like it's not suitable for the suburbs anyway. I'll stick with rainwater collection that's probably much better anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  4. antonius

    antonius Member

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    if you were to try and get a system in ,might be better to get a groundworks contractor in over a plumber as most of the work required is outdoor digging and drainage experience, labour costs and redtape put an end to a project i was attempting to do --
     
  5. Colin Westwood

    Colin Westwood New Member

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    If you have access to your grey water drain pipes in an elevated floor type of house, a simple neoprene funnel purchased at the hardware store can be inserted at the pipe elbow where the inspection plate can be unscrewed to provide access. From this point you simply connect some 3/4" poly pipe or similar to a swale that can be gravity fed to. With a diverse organic garden with good rich soil, bananas, passion-fruit vines, tomatoes and and moisture loving tree crops will thrive on auto-pilot whenever you use your sink, bathroom or laundry.
    Any intelligent environmentally sensitive person can do this for next to nothing.
    Washing machine water is the easiest, with the pump out from the machine giving you the top of the washing machine as the high point for a gravity feed hose to be connected to the outlet hose and directed into a swale for distribution into your soil. Just go easy on the washing powder, less than half of the recommended dosage is way more than sufficient for clean clothes. I also use bi-carb soda to dilute the powder even further and add a touch of borax to my commercial powder to help the plants. A teaspoon of eucalyptus oil for the rinse conditioner space and my garden never looked better. I have sugar, coconuts, passionfruit and a range of herbs growing rampantly in the 'laundry swale'.
    The bathroom water from the shower and hand basin is directed into a banana circle with grape vines and chillies growing well.
    The kitchen sink can be also directed into a ditch at the start of a swale. Minimize your detergent input and be careful to minimize solid wastes going down the sink. I have done this over several decades in a few locations and found that the worms, small insects and bugs quickly bio-degrade all fats, oil and miscellaneous bits to produce rich and moist black soil that will grow a diverse range of tree crops and herbs. Just avoid growing root crops for human consumption in this part of the garden and you can't go wrong.
     

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