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filtering greywater outside wall

 
Celia Revel
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We have a very simple design with a three-way connecting our water outside the wall of our kitchen sink or to the septic tank. I know that the perforated pvc pipe thing is wrong, and we did try it, and it did clog up, but while it was working, it did exactly what we wanted. What we want is the sink dishes to water the ornamentals on the other side of the wall. The only way we could get this was to extend a pipe the full length of the wall and let the pressure build to either side. We had an idea of installing a removable screen/mesh filter inside the outside pipe to be cleaned periodically. Then enlarge the holes in the pipe. Is this feasible? Is there a better way?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I'm having a bit of a hard time visualizing your current system - do you have pics?

Some questions - what kinds of things are you filtering out? If it's things like food particles - I'd do that with a strainer in the kitchen sink itself. Kitchen water is "dark grey water" so most best practices say vent it underground into some kind of infiltration chamber. Plants can be planted around the chamber. The chamber doesn't clog - there's just an ABS pipe connecting it to the sink (no perforations).
 
Celia Revel
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Under the sink, you can see where it goes out to the other side of the house. There is the three way lever, so we can divert it to the septic. On the outside, you can see where it comes out and Ts off to either side of the house. We were thinking of putting some sort of filter between the pvc pipe that distributes it to the ground and the pipe that comes out of the wall.
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Jennifer Wadsworth
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I get you now!

So - all the tests I've seen done here (Phoenix) have discarded the "drip" idea and instead gone for a mulched infiltration basin that the greywater flows into. With dark grey water - (kitchen sink water) that naturally has grease and more solids than other grey water - any kind of micro tubing or small holes just gets plugged up too fast. In fact we cannot vent this water on the surface but it must be sent to an underground chamber.

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Celia Revel
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What if I had a bucket with sawdust that filters the water then put holes in the bottom, with screen of course, so that goes into a second bucket that has tubes that distribute the water to specific plants?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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That might work - it's worth a shot. Or you could just put a big bucket/barrel out with woodchips in it and holes drilled in the bottom and let the water just sink through. If you have chickens, they would probably like to go through the woodchips after a month or so (I know the guys in Toolbox for Sustainable City Living said they used something like that). I just don't like having to empty stinky stuff.
 
Celia Revel
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I hear ya on the stinky stuff.
 
Celia Revel
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OK, so thus far, I have done everything wrong that could possibly be done wrong. We decided to not do the barrel after actually getting the Art Ludwig book and reading it, and have decided to go with a Branching system from the outside drain. So, I dug some mulch pits, and put some leaves in to get ready to install the branching pipe. OOOps. The mulch were leaves from a Hackberry tree: allelopathic. Again, discovery after doing some reading. So, I'd be watering poison into the little trees every time I did dishes. So, I thought, OK, what do I have around that I could use for mulch, well there's hay from the barn. I did actually fill one hole with hay from the barn, and then upon checking it, I was disappointed to find out that it is extremely hot! Manure plus straw plus water equals compost heat.

So, do I let it heat up given that it is only inches away from a tree? Do I fill with sawdust that we have on hand and worry that it might rob the soil of nitrogen? Not sure what to do anymore.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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OK, so thus far, I have done everything wrong that could possibly be done wrong.


Par for the course. Frustrating? Yes. Uncommon? Not at all! I've now gotten used to being a "multi-failer".

The mulch were leaves from a Hackberry tree: allelopathic. So, I'd be watering poison into the little trees every time I did dishes.


Maybe - maybe not. Other allelopathic plants have lost their "poison" when they are composted. Oleander comes specifically to mind.

So, I thought, OK, what do I have around that I could use for mulch, well there's hay from the barn. I did actually fill one hole with hay from the barn, and then upon checking it, I was disappointed to find out that it is extremely hot! Manure plus straw plus water equals compost heat.

So, do I let it heat up given that it is only inches away from a tree? Do I fill with sawdust that we have on hand and worry that it might rob the soil of nitrogen? Not sure what to do anymore.


It surprises me that it is so hot! Usually for compost heaps to generate thermophilic heat they need to be at least a cubic yard in size. Most infiltration basin for greywater are just not deep enough to build up thermophilic heat (is your basin three feet deep or more?) This might be a temporary reaction and so it might not stay that hot. Have you checked it again?
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Check out Abe Connolly and Velacreations, they have a under-sink vermiculture filter I am emulating.Makes that dark grey stuff almost clear and keeps filter changes to a minimum,plus makes worm castings.
They use a two stage filter, one inside one out, but one is probably enough.


Greywater Filter
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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