• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Please look over these greywater plans

 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1132
Location: Denver, CO
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think this should work, but I would like to make sure.

I know there are simple ways to use greywater— the simplest being drainage to a mulch basin with a tree. However, I want to use greywater for vegetables, since they are the most water hungry part of my (future) landscape. There are complicated ways (such as a marsh) to clean greywater. But I want to do something simple.

Here is my plan. I will dig a trench four feet deep on contour above my vegetable garden, about thirty feet long. Some of the earth dug out will be used as a mounded berm path on the down hill side, keeping any greywater from flowing right down the slope. The trench will be lined with landscape fabric to keep weeds out. Then a pipe full of small holes will be laid in the bottom. There will be an elbow at each end to take it to the surface. This is an aeration pipe. Then the trench will be filled with wood chips. Near the top, another perforated pipe will be laid; this is the greywater pipe. It will be covered by an inch or two of chips. Mushrooms will be started on the wood chip surface.

Hopefully, the water will filter down through the aerobic chips, and percolate into the soil, watering the vegetable garden downhill. I would have to size the garden properly; according to Toby Hemenway, each thousand square feet of garden needs a hundred gallons of water per day. I will size the trench such that even a two inch rain event could not overflow it. The clay loam drains slowly, so I would have to make sure to size the trench properly as well. Since it is a clay loam soil, I expect the water would tend to move downhill through the looser topsoil, instead of straight down.

Filename: Greywater irigation .pdf
Description: Here are my plans
File size: 315 Kbytes
[Download Greywater irigation .pdf] Download Attachment
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2310
77
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To quote Siskel & Ebert, "give this 2 thumbs up!"
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 698
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I personally don't like plastic in the garden so I would leave the weed mat out. I don't know how the water changes while passing the soil.
The main thing with greywater is is that it is alkaline because of the soap, and the fats from the kitchen. And the amount is not always the same.
You have visitors and they do not even consider 3-minutes showers. Or your kids get older and think that a weekly bath is not enough...
Our greywater system is similar, maybe I take a photo. But we have only one outlet and then it slopes. The first bit is a mulch basin but then it is open and heavily planted at the end there is even a pond. But we just put it in and it rained some days so I can't tell if it will work on the long run.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1132
Location: Denver, CO
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Angelika,

I thought the weed barrier might be necessary to keep greedy tree roots from clogging the system. There is a large Norway maple nearby, which I can't cut down. In my opinion, Norway Maples are giant weeds. But maybe I should just dig the system out regularly, and use all the rotted, fungi rich wood chips.

I would love to see pictures of your system.

That is a good point of yours about greywater amounts changing. I would only be using part of the greywater from the house in this system, to keep it from being overwhelmed. (There are eight people living in my family.) And of course, I can't use greywater at all right now, since it is illegal here in Colorado. But it will be all ready to go when the laws change, which they are starting to do.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am stealing some of your ideas.

Your aeration pipe may not work if the trench fills with water. But you could run a soaker hose through that pipe and pump air through it occasionally if you do get standing water.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic