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Septic system alternatives that can be used year round?

 
Bethanny Parker
Posts: 26
Location: Grant, MI
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I haven't looked into gray water systems much yet, but from what little I have read about leach beds (not even sure that is the correct term), they can't be used in the winter in temperate climates. So what alternatives are there for places where it gets cold in the winter?
 
Simon Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: S Ontario, Zone 6/7
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I am also interested in this. As far as I know right now, you can either run the greywater pipe deep enough underground where it won't freeze, or have a greenhouse to treat it in.

I would like to know if there are any other options as well.

Thanks for coming out to the forums Freidhliim!
 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
Posts: 90
Location: Southeast Michigan, Zone 6a
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I'm jumping on board for this one too. The reed bed system is what I have in mind for our greywater setup, but I'm not sure I can make it work with a frost line at 18+ inches deep. Maybe a greenhouse will be a better option, but I won't know until I get the site established. Any info would be great! Thanks!
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Location: Ireland
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Hi Lucas and Simon, thanks for your questions. There's a book called Natural Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment in Cold Climates edited by Mander and Jenssen, published by WIT Press. This is actually about constructed wetland systems, despite the title. It details examples from Sweden, China, Minot US, etc. and they all seem to work pretty well in the papers shown. The main challenge for a home-grown system is to come up with a distribution system that won't freeze, and an overall system that's big enough so that if the effluent in it freezes, it will still get enough treatment when the thaw comes.
 
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