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Interior, above ground, grey water

Posts: 1
Location: NW Montana
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Hi all, new to the site and looking for some input on a grey water solution.

A little history first (skip down two paragraphs if you don't want to deal)...
On my property I've got an old garage (slab floor) that I converted in to an apartment 10+yrs ago. At that point I was using a SunMar composting toilet (still present and functional) and a WT grey water system (perforated laterals draining into a bed of gravel). Lived in it with no problems for 4yrs while I built the "new" house on the property. After that it was a rental for another 4yrs. Grey water system failed a couple years ago. Once dug up, all the laterals were filled with gunk. I choose not to do another similar setup, as my new well is about 30' away and only 40' deep (I was careful with stuff I put down the drain, but renters?!). Can't legally tie it into my new septic, and it would cost upwards of 7K to do so, so I just converted it to a painting shop. Additionally, the old grey water system now has a shed over it.

Fast forward 2yrs. The new house is too big for just the one person who now lives there... Plus, I do alot of traveling for both work and play. I'd like to turn the new house into a vacation rental and get the old apartment up and running again for my use. If the vacation rental works out, I may look into legitimizing the rental and tying in to the septic, but for now I'm looking for an alternative.

Down to the nitty gritty, here are the details and parameters of the current structure.
The structure is 24' X 24'. Looking at it from the front, the apartment is the right half of that; size = 12' wide X 24' deep, . One kitchen sink on left wall ~8' from the back wall. One shower with drain 16" above slab (I needed room to make the plumbing drain) and 16" from back wall and 16" right of left wall.
Of the remaining half (left side of overall structure), there is a garage door access used for storage and a dryer; the back half is enclosed and insulated with access from the "garage" space.
My thoughts are to plumb in the shower and kitchen sink (maybe a washing machine, if feasible) into an above ground grey water system that would be housed in the back left insulated portion of the building. When full I could drain out through the garage portion to the outside where there is a natural drainage area which is far removed from my new well.

The restrictions I'm coming up against.
The bottom of the shower drain is only 16" high. Minimum distance over to the insulated room (where a containment vessel could be placed) is 24"; doesn't equate to much of a hydraulic head for filling anything. Access to said insulated space is 26" wide. A 55 gal barrel would fit, but how often would that need to emptied?
What to do with sludge build up? I use biodegradable soaps, but there is always some kind of sludge involved with any plumbing (hair, shaving, errant food scraps, etc).
I've been looking at some of the commercial grey water systems available, but nothing looks like it will fit my bill.
While the area for the grey water collection is insulated and heated, it will have to be drained to the frigid Montana winter.
What it boils down to is, I can't figure out a way to drain the sink and shower in to a floor level vessel, filter out the sludge, and pump in to a larger (1 or 2 55 gal barrels) vessel and be able to drain to the outside.

Any and all feedback/ideas/suggestions will be much appreciated. Look forward to hearing from you all soon. Sorry for the long introductory post!
Posts: 1613
Location: northern California
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I've only ever used simple mulch pits, dug as deep as necessary to provide good gravity drainage from the source, and fill with wood chips, perhaps with a piece of perforated plastic drain pipe cut in half up under with the drain pipe opening into that space. Have it deep enough so it won't freeze, and check it once a year or so and replace the woodchips if they seem too clogged.
Posts: 126
Location: Western North Carolina
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Try this site and see if they have any answers for your project:

Posts: 51
Location: Upstate,SC Zone 7a
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Here is my post from another thread about our above ground gray water system.Ours runs into a roadside drainage ditch.We have no source of water nearby such as creeks,ponds,or anything like that.

upstateman wrote:This grey water outflow needs a filter.This is lint from the washer.This one was installed in spring of 1986 by my uncle.This is a 3 bed 2 bath mobile home.

This one is from the main house and is currently in use.There's no filter on this one either.The house is 3 bed 1 bath and built my my granddad in 1954.

The third property has the grey water ran into an under ground gravel field.So I can't get pics of that one.It's connected to a 2 bed 1 bath mobile home.It was installed in early winter 1976 by my dad.

Here is the pipe that was used it took three 100' rolls and this is a 10' section that was left over.We keep it for emergency repairs.So far it's never been used for repairs.

1.5 inch Silver Line

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