• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dan Boone
  • Dave Burton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Barkley

Recycling greywater, radically

 
Posts: 2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if you thought it might be possible to make greywater potable? My wife and I are going to be getting an RV here pretty soon, and we want it off-grid. We're removing the toilet and putting in a compost toilet, so we won't have any water wasted in flushing. We're also planning on putting in a filtration system to make rainwater potable (the assumption being that where ever we park the RV, we probably won't be able to dig a well.) I like the idea of taking our dishwater and shower water and purifying it to make it potable, so as to institute almost a kind of closed-loop system. We hope we can have a garden patch, but I don't think we're going to go in assuming that right now, and I really don't want that water to go to waste, if we can help it.

The tl;dr of this is: would I be able to put a filtration system on our greywater tank that would allow us to cycle it back into our drinking water system?

Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
15
bee bike books food preservation purity urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, I'm afraid I don't have the answer, but you might have better luck on the grey water forum http://www.permies.com/forums/f-74/grey-water
 
gardener
Posts: 1609
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
237
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You'd do really well to get Art Ludwig's book, Create an Oasis with Greywater.

His website also has a huge amount of information.

I learned a huge amount from this book and I'll be pulling it off the shelf and rereading sections for years. If you're considering any type of greywater system, Art Ludwig seems to have seen that type of system be installed, and how it works or fails.

I have two ideas related to your question (based on the book, which i can't recommend highly enough):
1) Any kind of greywater system that involves pumps and/or filters is likely to keep requiring maintenance. If you are not mechanical or you don't like pulling hair out of a stinky gooey pump on a regular basis, you may want to avoid those systems. Ludwig points out that the organisms in topsoil or mulch are great at purifying greywater, while providing water to plants.

2) Before installing your greywater system, ask yourself what your needs and motivations are. If you really will be in places that have no other source of potable water (middle of the Sahara, perhaps? The Space Station?) then the expense of installation and maintenance would be worth it. But if you are in the US you can probably get other potable water much more easily. The filtration unit you're imagining might turn out to be more bulk to carry in your RV than to occasionally carry water tanks in the RV when you happen to be going to places with no potable water nearby.

There are lots of small and simple camping water filters that will make slightly dodgy but clear-looking water safe, if you camp near a stream, for example.
 
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, it is possible. Though the only patent I know uses ozonation and proprietary technology and costs about $30,000

We are working on a black, ok grey project to process grey to potable in a more cost effective way. It's the holy grail of off grid water.
 
pollinator
Posts: 596
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
78
bee bike fish greening the desert solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Seems to me you could do this with a three step process:
Constructed wetlands to remove the bulk solids and most of the BOD, slow sand filter to remove the rest of the BOD as well as most pathogens, and then a ceramic micro-filter system.  
While relatively economical, and mostly renewable, this system would be quite large, probably too large for an RV.

Mechanical filtering to remove solids, followed by Reverse Osmosis, or distillation might be workable.  However, both distillation RO generally produce waste streams of water that are often larger than the processed streams.  These could be fed back into the greywater, but eventually undesired contaminants will build up and you have to flush the system and start over.  

 
gardener
Posts: 2276
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
359
bee cattle chicken sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael cox posted this in one of my threads. I think it applies here. Its a start to finish wood fired distiller using sticks and mud(clay). Once you understand the concept, it can be built many ways, or buy an off the shelf unit.

 
Posts: 743
Location: Bendigo , Australia
26
dog homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I suggest you look at the practicality of it.
Cost of components is one aspect, and room on the RV for another.
You may be better to fit a tank you can fill or top up when ever you get fuel.
As for rainfall collection look at having an awning on the side with a gutter. Then look at 'Benefits of rainfall collection"  here somewhere under homesteading I think.
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Was there an alternative solution for this post?
 
Bras cause cancer. And tiny ads:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!