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greywater filter

 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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I am looking for a filter of some sorts for greywater. I have 8 fruit trees that I would like to water with the greywater from the shower/bath and posiibilly the wash machine and dishwasher. Everything is uphill from the tress by 18"-20" so it would need to work in gravity feed.
Also does anyone have suggestion for soap, shampoo, dish washing soap and laundry soap that can be used ?

Thanks

Karl
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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up until a short time ago most every one use to run their greywater out onto their properties rather than underground..

it usually doesn't have much in it that would harm anything unless you are using really strong chemicals.

 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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you could make a poor man's drain field:

cut a few plastic 33- or 55-gallon barrels in half lengthwise.  plumb your drain pipes into them however you like and bury them cut side down where your trees need water.  a little colander full of straw to filter bits of food out of your sink water is probably about all you would need.  the only way this system is likely to clog up is if you wash a lot of grease down your drains.  showers and washing machines shouldn't give you any trouble.

more complicated setups involve reeds and grasses planted in gravel for a living filter and maybe a surge tank to prevent overflow.  something like that would be more suited to a situation where the water is headed to a pond or some other body of surface water where stripping out some of the nutrient load is important.  do a system like that well and you could drink the water coming out the other end.  doesn't sound like that's what you're after, though.

soap: make your own.  it's fun.  if that doesn't appeal to you, more and more soap is available that lists ingredients.  get some with ingredients you can pronounce.  I recommend the bulk bins at your local hippie supply outlet.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
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tel, i would like to understand the 33 t 55 barrel drums cut in half system better,  please , it sounds good.
and, Brenda Groth how did they used to manage using grey water to water everything, carrying it out by hand? When i was small there was not so much biological powder or they weren't so good as they are now or so bad i think my youth covered a changin gsituation maybe on the biological front maybe not, anyway my mother used soap ones, she was a bit of an early organic, she was sensibly suspicious of poisonous substances, rose.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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no problem, rose.  which part isn't clear?

the half-barrel is really only there to create an air space so that there is more surface area for water to infiltrate the dirt and to keep out roots.  the greywater flows into the half-barrel by gravity feed and then drains into the dirt through the bottom of the hole.  the large area of dirt prevents roots from clogging up the system, which can be a serious issue if water can only drain through holes drilled in a barrel or pipe.  if someone were the worrying sort, I might recommend a layer of gravel in the bottom of the hole before laying the half-barrel in.

if the dirt involved is really poorly-drained, this might not work quite so well.

most of the advantage of this setup is that it's really cheap and easy.  if it does clog after many years, it would be really easy to dig the hole thing up and put it some place else.

I tried to do a quick MSPaint illustration, but the result really wasn't in keeping with the high quality of illustrations that have been posted by others here.
 
                          
Posts: 94
Location: Colorado
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some where I think I remember seeing a pond with cattails purifying the Grey water, I think the article was for a Earth-ship house.
http://cleantechnica.com/2009/05/16/cattail-army-deployed-to-fight-water-pollution/
 
                              
Posts: 63
Location: North West PA, USA
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I use moss as a filter for my suction gas. Not sure if you could collect enough for filtering gray water. Below is a link of a peat moss septic system filter....

http://www.eco-purewastewatersystems.com/whysphagnumpeatmoss.html


Jeff
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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generallly they just ran it out of the home through a hose or pipe system to a hose..or some like my MIL had a long flexible pipe that it ran through so she could direct the flow where she wanted..generally it was all down hill so it would seep away in the direction of gravity

my sister still runs her grey water out onto the lawn and gardens in front of her house..but if she got caught she might get a fine..as it isn't as acceptable here as it used to be

ours goes into our drainfield..but our drainfield feeds our huge garden beds which are mixed with trees, shrubs, vines and perennials
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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If you are concerned about the soaps etc you might simply put an open topped barrel next to your house and fill it with bark mulch.  Bark because it degrades slowly.  Run the grey water in the top and filtered water out the bottom.  Run a hose down to the tree/trees and let it go.  Most of the soaps will stick to the bark and what remains shouldn't be too bad for the plants.  Just be sure to elevate and slant the barrel a bit so you don't get a stagnant puddle that could cause odours in the bottom.  If you want the water to disappear at the trees dig the soil down a bit and again fill with coarse bark mulch.  Replace the mulch in the barrel every year and it will not clog but you can also use the old as top dressing similar to compost.  I've used this method for several years and it is easy, quick and efficient.  As for the soaps I generally don't worry too much the bark mulch takes care of most of it.  If you're near a waterway there are
 
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