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RidX? Shampoo?

 
                  
Posts: 5
Location: Great Falls
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We've been off grid for three months now and working through solar, grey water, predator, ....you name it, issues. Challenging, but ugh...tiring too. Could use some help!
On occasion we have been smelling foul odors from the greyeater barrel. I scrape, wipe down dishes, yet I still get get food scraps in the barrel. (Thank you, children. :-/) Any pointers? Can products like Rid X be used to break down food particles and still be safe for the environment?

Also, I loved using baking soda/ vinegar wash for my hair. But the sodium is a no- no in the grey water from what I've read. Decent shampoos that don't cause issues with the greywater or ecosystem?
Thanks!

PS- I can only use my phone, no internet yet. Responses may be slow.
 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
Posts: 352
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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You can wash the dishes with castile soap or eco friendly biodegradable detergents. Like from Ecover and Weleda.

Look at the ICNI ingredient list of your dish washers and shampoos.

The detergent they should have, should be only decyl glucoside, coco glucoside or lauryl glucoside. These are biodegradable detergents that readily degrade in the grey water to organic molecules and are also mild for the skin and eyes. They are produced from vegetable oils treated with some chemicals (not not "bad" ones).

Castile soap is just soap produced from lye and vegetable oils, it is the most biodegradable and natural option, but it is a salt and is alkaline.

Anything with sodium lauryl sufate (or laureth or dodecyl), cocamidopropyl betain (or coco betain), is not biodegradable and should NOT be used. They are also irritant for skin (or toxic).
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Rid X is a microbial starter--so it is just like using yeast to start a sourdough bread starter. Definitely a good thing for septic tanks, but not sure if it is helpful for greywater.

The trick to grey water is NO STANDING WATER!! Your bucket/barrel/tank must be COMPLETELY drained every day. If there is any standing water it will hold and grow anaerobic colonies. If you just can't get it completely drained, use a couple DROPS of bleach after it has drained to kill the remaining stuff. That little bleach should dissipate before you need to empty the tank again.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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this should be a good thread for me to watch, we are currently looking into potentially re-routing o9ur laundry room to the back yard for a greywater system... i have quite a few questions, but is the the thread for them or is there another established thread on greywater harvesting systems?
 
Matt mcmenaman
Posts: 20
Location: Columbus NJ Zone 6b
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Ok. So my septic system backed up over the weekend and left us for 48 hours of washing, rinsing into buckets and dumping them outside. Long story short - it's an old septic system and we use it heavily (2 adults, 7 children). I'm thinking, since I don't have $20k lying around to upgrade/replace my septic, that I need to setup a greywater system. I've been reading this forum and over at Oasis Design. From what I can tell the big issue is that we'll need to stop using conventional laundry and dish detergent, shampoos etc. That will not go over well in the household at all I have 5 females in my house and they all have long hair! Is my assumption correct? Can I build a grey water system without making drastic changes to our washing habits? Thanks for your consideration.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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i would strongly suggest switching to organic washing products at least, though they may not be ok either, when youre doing greywater you kinda do have to change a few things so that you dont poison your soil...
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 123
Location: Western North Carolina
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Our gray water system would smell badly and it was because the ground was water logged. Our solution was to make a three branched system and we alternate the dump sites. When there is little rain, each dump area can hold the gray water for about 10 days. If we have rain, only about 7 days. We usually just alternate it once every week. It works fine now.
 
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